ITV’s core business suffers, but international grows

Revenues from domestic operations have decreased sharply at ITV, but sales generated from international increased in the UK commercial broadcaster’s results for the first six months of 2009.

Outgoing ITV CEO Michael Grade said that ad revenues declined 15% in the period, but that ITV had outperformed the wider market and was increasing its share of the UK ad market. The outlook for the third quarter is for a 12% reduction in ad revenues and Grade noted that visibility.

Overall revenues came in at £909m (€1bn), £122m down on the 2008 figure. The core ITV1 channel delivered revenues of £478m compared with £583m a year earlier. Revenues from the broadcaster’s global content division, meanwhile, were up £11m year-on-year, taking the total to £296m. ITV grew its international production business, but program sales and rights exploitation revenues were slightly down.

ITV also announced the sale of its Friends Reunited social networking site to publisher DC Thomson for £25m.