Profits flat but ITV sees strong revenues in 2022 | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Driven by double digit growth in its key Studios business and Media & Entertainment (M&E) digital revenues, the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster ITV has reported a strong 2022 where what it calls successful strategic execution saw rises in revenues across the company.
ITV logo large 19 Oct 2020
For the year ended 31 December 2022, total external revenue was up 8% annually to £3.728 billion, and total group revenue rose 7% to £4.345 billion. Total ITV Studios revenue was up 19% at £2.096 billion with growth across the business. M&E revenue slipped 1% to £2.249 billion driven by a 1% decline in total advertising revenue (TAR), as expected. Yet within this digital advertising revenue was up 17% to £343 million.

However, adjusted group EBITA was down 12% at £717 million largely reflecting said ITV the planned investment in M&E to drive future growth, which was partly funded by £23 million of cost savings. This too total savings delivered since 2018 to £106 million. Statutory operating profit was £519 million, the same as at 31 December 2021.

Drilling deeper into the divisions, ITV Studios was said to be growing ahead of the market and increasing diversification. In addition to the strong revenue growth, adjusted EBITA margin was 12.4% driven by a 58% increase in high-end scripted hours produced as ITV took advantage of the global demand for scripted content. As many as 19 formats were sold in three or more countries. The percentage of total Studios revenue from streaming platforms grew from 13% to 22% with commissions or development deals with most of the major streamers. Given this success we are increasing our target for 2026 from 25% to 30%. Total ITV Studios revenues in 2022 are 15% higher than 2019 with a record Q4 which was stronger than expected due to the phasing of deliveries.

M&E KPIs were said to have demonstrated strong strategic progress with a significant increase in the volume of content available for streaming from 4,000 in 2021 to 19,000 hours; improved user experience; successful launch of new streaming hub ITVX in December 2022;new streaming hub ITVX in December 2022; and further roll out and development of Planet V, ITV's self-service programmatic advertising platform. Total digital revenues were up 18% to £411 million, total streaming hours up 9% and within that, total monetisable streaming hours up 18%6; monthly active users up 6%; and UK subscribers up 17% to 1.4 million. 90% of ITV's digital inventory is now sold through Planet V, which has over 20,000 data targeting options around which advertisers can build campaigns, and helped attract 400 new digital advertisers to ITV in 2022.

M&E adjusted group EBITA was down 22% at £464 million largely reflecting the planned investment in content and ITVX to drive future growth. Subscribers of the BritBox International SVOD service were up 25% annually to 3.0 million.

The results also showed that in its first two months since launch, ITVX has attracted more users, and harder to reach lighter viewers, who were spending longer on ITV's digital content. In the first two months, ITVX attracted 1.5 million new registrations, saw total streaming hours grow 69% and streaming hours of lighter viewers grow 94% compared to the same period in the prior year on ITV's streaming platforms.

TAR performance was said to reflect ITV’s resilience of linear and the important role of mass reach to build brands and drive performance. ITV also gained a 33.8% share of commercial viewing (SOCV) and 93% of top 1,000 commercial broadcast TV programmes. These were almost identical shared to 2021.

Going forward, ITV expects to see ITV Studios deliver at least 5% average revenue growth per annum to 2026, and grow ahead of the market. With 18% growth in digital revenues to £411 million in 2022 and planned continuous enhancements in ITVX's product, content and distribution, ITV said that it remained confident in delivering at least £750 million of digital revenues by 2026 and ITV Studios adjusted EBITA margin guidance of 13% to 15% from 2023 onwards.

Commenting on the annual results, ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said: “2022 was a year of significant strategic progress and ITV delivered a robust set of financial results. The successful execution and delivery of ITVX in Q4 was a major digital milestone. The platform has received a very positive reception from viewers and advertisers alike, with its newly expanded range of original content and a superior user experience engaging more viewers, and lighter viewers, and encouraging them to spend more time with ITV. The user experience and personalisation elements will continue to improve throughout 2023.”