ITV chief Adam Crozier

ITV chief Adam Crozier

Advertisers wanting to be seen near the World Cup television coverage gave ITV a 40pc rise in pre-tax profits to £250m in the first half of the year.

The broadcaster also reported strong growth in its online, pay and interactive businesses.

Overall, external revenues were up 7pc compared with the first six months of 2013, to £1.23bn.

Commenting on the results released this morning, Adam Crozier, ITV’s chief executive said: “The economic recovery is leading to an improved advertising market, with good growth across all key categories and ITV is well placed to take market share.

“We will significantly outperform the market over the full year.”

Television advertising, which despite the growth of ITV’s production arm ITV Studios remains the group’s biggest revenue source, grew by 7pc, faster than the market. Most of the growth came in the second quarter, when the World Cup drove a 13pc increase in sales, compared with just 2pc in the first three months of the year.

Despite a 5pc decline in the ITV’s channels share of viewing, its revenue growth means the company is increasing its share of the advertising market. It blamed falling viewing share on “disappointing” contributions from ITV2 and ITV3.

ITV has also produced a webcast talking about the results which you can view here.