ITV has acquired Norwegian production company Mediacircus and has reached an agreement in principle on a strategic development and production partnership with Israeli broadcaster Reshet, after reporting an increase of 10% in revenues in the first half, despite a slowing advertising market.
UK’s major commercial public service TV network has reported an almost 8% year-on-year fall in pre-tax profits to £167 million in the first half of 2012, in spite of confirming the fears of a declining UK TV ad market with September revenues forecast to be down by 5%.
According to the firm, a £275 million bond buyback scheme in June, which helped to lower the ITV’s debt interest payments impacted the total pre-tax profits. Adam Crozier, chief executive, said he expected the TV advertising market to be “broadly flat” in the year to September but that the second half would be down.
ITV, the broadcaster of Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, recorded an increase of 8% in share price to 78p in early trading today. The ITV production business reported revenues up 34% year-on-year to £355 million for the six months to the end of June, ahead of analysts’ expectations.
Kevin Lygo, managing director of ITV Studios, emphasised that creating a strong international content business was key to ITV’s five-year transformation plan.
Meanwhile, ITV also reached an agreement for a new venture that will see ITV Studios and Reshet jointly source, develop and produce formats in Israel for both the Reshet network and the international market.
“Israel has exploded onto the television market as a creative hothouse and has become a major exporter of wonderful shows, which have entertained and engaged audiences not only in America but also across the world,” said Paul Buccieri, managing director ITV Studios International and prexy and CEO ITV Studios America.