ITV, Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster, saw revenues rise 5% year-on-year during its first quarter under the stewardship of new chief executive Carolyn McCall, the company reported Thursday. The company saw total external revenues for Q1 2018 hit £772 million ($1.04 billion), up from £734 million ($993.6 million) in the same period last year.
“We have started the year well both on and off screen, driven by 11% growth in ITV Studios revenue and 41% growth in online revenue,” said McCall (pictured), who took over as CEO of ITV in January, succeeding Adam Crozier.
“While the economic environment remains uncertain, online advertising continues to grow strongly,” McCall said. “We expect ITV total advertising to be up 2% over the first half, but profits will reflect the timing of the World Cup [soccer tournament]. Over the full year we are on track to deliver double-digit growth in online revenue and good organic revenue growth in ITV Studios.” Total advertising was up 3% in Q1.
Production arm ITV Studios delivered Q1 revenue of £382 million ($517.0 million), up from £343 million ($464.5 million) last year. Organic revenues for ITV Studios, excluding acquisitions, were up 9%.
ITV Broadcast and Online provided the biggest revenue stream, generating £526 million ($712.3 million), up 3% year-on-year. Within this, the 41% online growth McCall highlighted came largely from advertising growth for its online video-on-demand service ITV Hub. McCall said viewing time on ITV Hub had grown 31% in the first quarter of 2018.
Total time viewed across all ITV platforms was up 4% in Q1, while the broadcaster’s audience share was up 6%, according to McCall. “This reflects the strength and breadth of our schedule across our platforms,” she said, highlighting long-running soap operas “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale,” entertainment formats “Dancing on Ice” and “Saturday Night Takeaway,” and popular drama “Vera,” starring Brenda Blethyn. “Both ‘Saturday Night Takeaway’ and ‘Vera’ delivered their best series ever,” said McCall.