U.K. broadcast giant ITV, which also has a flourishing global production business, revealed an ambitious five-year growth plan on Thursday that included a number of key performance indicators.
The “Love Island” producer’s goals for 2026 are to bring organic revenue growth in 2022 back to pre-pandemic 2019 levels and thereafter grow at 5% annually; grow earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization by 13-15%; double the number of high end scripted hours from 200 to 400; increase the number of global formats produced in three or more countries from 16 to 20; and boost the revenue percentage from streamers from 14 to 25.
Top ITV executives took investors through a comprehensive two-hour presentation detailing the company’s achievements and ambitions.
“2020 was one of the hardest years we will live through in terms of working lives and running businesses and our home lives as well, and in that year, our margin was around 11% for 2020,” said ITV CFO Sharjeel Suleman during the presentation. “Before we get to 2023, you’ve got to remember, there’s a lot of stuff still going on in 2022. COVID is still around, it’s causing a bit of inefficiency in how we work. And you’ve got to remember when you’re a production, you’ve got to have contingency plans, you’ve got to have our health and safety which is paramount for all our staff. And it’s just taking a bit longer to shoot as well. And then sometimes the broadcaster pays, sometimes the producer has to take the cost, and sometimes there’s deficits involved. So we’re going to get to that 13 to 15% margin range, but it’s going to take us a little while to get there.”
ITV’s growth strategy also includes further diversifying their customer base and attracting and retaining leading talent. ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said that identifying key talent and giving them the support to create excellent content has been a successful strategy for the company. “We are aggressively pursuing talent deals,” McCall said.
Julian Bellamy, managing director, ITV Studios, added: “The key thing is that we offer talent something different, a very different culture, a lot of creative freedom, a global studio, and of course, an integrated producer-broadcaster, which we know is very important for talent who want to see their shows and their ideas being made and want to find a partner where that’s more likely to happen.”
Regarding acquisitions, “We are very, very disciplined,” said McCall. “We have actually turned down some acquisitions, because they’ve just not been the right economics.”
On the U.S. streaming business, ITV Studios America is well-positioned for continued growth, more than doubling 2021 output with 59% of revenues coming from streaming. ITV Studios America currently has 25 shows in production or paid development with every major U.S. streamer including Apple TV Plus, Netflix, Peacock, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus and Paramount Plus.
David George, CEO, ITV America, revealed a highly focused approach towards producing for streamers with each of the production companies under the umbrella geared towards a specific genre of content.