British broadcaster ITV unveils drop in annual net profits
ITV, Britain's largest free-to-air commercial television broadcaster, announced an eight-percent drop in annual net profits on Wednesday but its share price surged thanks to strong underlying gains.
Profit after tax fell to £247 million (293 million euros, $394 million) in 2011 from £269 million the previous year, at the group that broadcasts popular singing talent show 'X Factor' and hit period drama 'Downton Abbey.'
ITV's share price soared 7.83 percent to stand at 86.80 pence in late deals on London's FTSE 100 index after the company said underlying pre-tax profits rose 13 percent to £462 million in 2011, beating analysts' expectations.
The broadcaster is undergoing a five-year plan to transform its fortunes after Britain's record-length recession that ended in late 2009 caused a slump in ITV's advertising revenues.
"We're now almost two years into our five-year transformation plan and our continued growth in revenue and profit at a time when the advertising market is broadly flat demonstrates that we're performing in line with our strategic priorities," ITV chief executive Adam Crozier said in the earnings release.
"The increase in non-advertising revenues of £93 million, driven by our studios and online businesses, is clear evidence of progress in rebalancing the Company and our ability to grow new revenue streams," he added.
© 2012 AFP