ITV reports strong first quarter as staff strike

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

ITV has published a trading update this morning, showing increased revenue across advertising, studios, broadcast and online.

It comes as NUJ, Bectu and Unite members go out on strike in response to a 2% pay offer.

ITV chief Adam Crozier ITV chief Adam Crozier

ITV will hold its annual general meeting this morning, at which it will report total external revenue rising 14% to £655m (2014: £585m). Broadcast and online revenue is also up 10% to £530m (2014: £480m) - of which online, pay and interactive is up 31%.

Its programme-making division, which includes Shiver, saw revenues rise 17% to £224m (2014: £192m).

“ITV Studios returned to organic growth, which contributed around half of Studios revenue growth, while our acquired businesses remain on track.

"We remain focused on building a global scripted business, with a number of high profile dramas this year including Thunderbirds Are Go, The Good Witch, Texas Rising, Aquarius, Raised by Wolves and Jekyll & Hyde. Looking forward to the rest of the year we have a healthy pipeline of new drama to come,” stated Adam Crozier, ITV plc chief executive.

“ITV Family Share of Viewing was down 3% in the first four months and improving SOV remains a key focus for the year. We are encouraged by a more robust recent performance including Britain’s Got Talent, Ninja Warrior, Vera and well received new drama including Safe House, Home Fires and Code of a Killer. Our digital channels are growing audience share, up 3% overall year on year, and we are firmly focused on the main channel where we expect to see improvement in the second half of the year when we will have the benefit of the exclusive rights to the Rugby World Cup.”

Despite the figures, it won’t be an easy ride at this year’s AGM, as union members will be protesting outside the event later this morning. The National Union of Journalists will be sharing an open letter to shareholders saying that staff need to be “properly rewarded” for contributing to ITV’s turnaround.

"This dispute is easily sorted out - ITV needs to get back round the table to negotiate a sensible deal. NUJ members have consistently delivered great journalism and content that is the bedrock of the company’s success,” said NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet.

"The company’s success is down to a team effort. Staff have stuck by the company during the difficult times, but it is unfair and insulting that when profits are soaring and the company is bullish about its financial future success, executives at the top are trousering huge amounts of cash while refusing to pay staff fairly."

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