ITV’s net revenue rose 3% to £3.2bn, driven by continued growth in the Studios business. However, the higher revenue was more than offset by cost increases in the broadcast & online division which, dragged full year earnings per share down 4% to 15.4p. The shares fell 1% on the news. The final dividend of 5.4p takes the full year payout to 8p per share, up 3% on 2017.
George Salmon, Equity Analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:
“Not only is the way we watch TV changing, the rise of Google and Facebook means the way advertisers promote their products is too. All the while, a tighter economic background brings more pressure. These factors explain why ITV is seeking to modernise, and evolve away from its traditional model.
“ITV continues to grow its pay-per-view offering and its studios business, which sells content to other channels, while a new partnership with the BBC should help it adapt to the brave new world of on-demand streaming led by Netflix and Amazon. The BritBox service has been successful in the US, and ITV is hopeful it can replicate this success at home.
“While the strategy makes sense, and ITV is impressively growing its share of viewing, there’s no getting away from the fact the world is changing fast and the group’s core business is facing a battle to stay relevant. That’s a significant challenge.”