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ITV profits drop 50% in first half of 2020

ITV profits drop 50% in first half of 2020
© ITV
ITV reports that profits for the first half of 2020 have dropped 50% year-on-year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

ITV has confirmed that profits for the first half of the year almost halved due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

While TV audiences rose across the board as lockdown kicked in, advertising revenues and production spend took a massive dive.

As a result, ITV's EBITDA figure for January to June stands at £165 million, down from £327 million on the equivalent period in 2019.

ITV Studios, meanwhile, saw revenue fall from £758 million to £630 million as productions were halted - however, of the 230 shows in production around the world, ITV says that around 70% have now resumed, including heavyweights Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

"While our two main sources of revenue - production and advertising - were down significantly in the first half of the year and the outlook remains uncertain, today we are seeing an upward trajectory," said Carolyn McCall, ITV's chief executive.

"Productions are restarting and advertisers are returning to take advantage of our highly effective mass reach and addressable advertising platform, in a brand-safe environment."

Speaking in an earnings conference call, she added: "What was reinforcing actually during the pandemic is how all viewing went up. All aspects of TV, whether that was comedy, drama, especially news, factual programming, that all went up. So did streaming.

"So, whether that was Netflix or BritBox, in that respect viewing in COVID was strong across the board. I think what has happened is that it's been reassuring for many people in Britain that the public service broadcasters have been able to inform them throughout."

ITV also reported a year-on-year increase of total viewing hours from 8.2 billion to 8.5 billion, with ITV Hub rising from 236 million to 266 million.

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