ITV sign on Coronation Street set
Media & Entertainment (M&E) revenue was also down 7% at £2,09 billion / Image source: Adobe
  • Group revenue down 2%
  • Studios revenue up 4%
  • Shares hit high for 2024

Shares in ITV (ITV) were up more than 8% to a three-month high of 66p in morning trading despite the free-to-air broadcaster reporting a 2% fall in total revenue for the 12 months ending 31 December 2023.


Media & Entertainment (M&E) revenue was down 7% at £2.09 billion, with total advertising revenue (TAR) down 8% as guided, although the group still outperformed the overall TV ad market.

Investors were cheered instead by record revenues at the ITV Studios division, which delivers popular dramas such as Mr Bates vs The Post Offfice and Love Island, a format which has been sold to 27 countries.

Since 2018, ITV Studios' total revenue excluding acquisitions has consistently grown by around 5% per year, slightly faster than the 4% growth rate of the market.

There was a robust performance from the ITVX streaming service, with monthly active users up by 19% and total streaming hours increasing by 26%, which pushed digital revenues up by 19% to £490 million, offsetting a 15% decline in linear advertising ‘due to a challenging advertising market’.


Chief executive Carolyn McCall remained confident despite the slight fall in full-year revenue and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to shareholder value with the £235 million share buyback programme previously announced on 1 March.

The buyback stems from ITV’s sale of its 50% holding in BritBox International to the BBC for £255 million.

The ITV board said at the time of the sale that it intended to return the entire net proceeds to shareholders.

The company has also proposed a final dividend of 3.3p, giving a total ordinary dividend of 5.0p per share or circa £200 million for the full year.

ITV rallies 15.5% on £255 million BritBox sale and share buyback plan

ITV said in a statement: ‘Under the programme, ITV will purchase shares from Morgan Stanley on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The purpose of the programme is to reduce the share capital of ITV.'

The free-to-air broadcaster said its cost-saving programme had delivered £130 million of annualised savings to date and it was ‘on track to deliver the full £150 million by 2025 – one year early’.


Julie Palmer, Partner at Begbies Traynor, said: ‘ITV’s results will likely do little to reassure investors that it has secured its footing in a rapidly evolving media landscape, with a 2% decline in total revenue and 41% drop in profit before tax suggesting the broadcaster is yet to find its feet.

‘The divestment of BritBox should allow for a refocusing on ITV’s core competencies, along with an opportunity to implement the planned share buyback and higher dividend in its place, and the market’s reaction implies its approval of this decision.

‘The decline in traditional linear advertising revenue is a stark reminder of the shifting sands beneath the feet of broadcasters everywhere. As ITV navigates this challenging environment, the pressure will be on to ensure that its content and digital offerings can keep pace with changing consumer habits and a fiercely competitive market.’



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Issue Date: 07 Mar 2024