UK commercial broadcaster ITV has said that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind it after the company’s total revenue rallied £372M ($516M), or 26%, in the first half of 2021.
ITV’s total sales hit £1.8B in the first six months of the year after a return to form for ITV Studios, the production arm responsible for global hits including Love Island, The Voice, and Line Of Duty.
ITV Studios’ revenue climbed 26% to £798M in the first half of the year as the majority of its shows returned to production. ITV said the production arm also delivered programs ahead of schedule.
As well as a recovery at ITV Studios, ad revenue also compared favorably with the first half of 2020, when the market fell off a cliff during the first UK lockdown. ITV’s total ad sales were £866M, up £195M, or 29%, on last year. June brought with it an advertising bonanza on the back of Euro 2020.
ITV’s adjusted EBITA also rallied in the first six months of 2021. Earnings reached £327M between January and June, which was a 98% increase on the same period in 2020. Earnings per share rocketed 103% to 5.9p.
“ITV is emerging from the worst effects of the pandemic,” said ITV CEO Carolyn McCall. “We are optimistic about the future, despite the ongoing pandemic risk on our advertising and ITV Studios revenues.”
ITV said net debt was down 40% to £467M, while the company expects to deliver £30M of permanent cost savings over the course of 2021 as a result of “headcount savings from reorganisational changes.”