ITV grows w’wide business despite UK performance

British commercial network ITV saw strong performance from its international unit, particularly its programme sales arm, despite poor performance from its UK broadcast business.

However, the company still downgraded its three year forecasts for the international division from £1.2 billion to £1 billion.

The company’s Global Content division, which houses its ITV Productions arm, international distribution business Granada International and its worldwide production groups, saw total revenues grow by 3% to £285 million for the six months to end-June 2008.

Granada International saw particular growth from £34 million in 2007 to £55 million this year, buoyed by series such as Dancing on Ice and Hell’s Kitchen and local versions of format Come Dine With Me. Its UK production group also saw strong numbers, thanks in large part due to the acquisition of gameshow producer 12 Yard.

Despite this, chairman Michael Grade reduced its three-year forecasts. He said that weak advertising growth will hit its business, as many of the global content department’s main customers are ad-funded international broadcasters. “In light of these developments, ITV has reassessed its turnaround targets to ensure that they remain challenging and realistic.”

ITV Global Content has inked a number of major deals that the company hopes will add to the group’s revenues. It acquired stakes in a number of independent producers such as Crackit and Mammoth Screen, bought Scandinavian formats creator Silverback and inked a major long term coproduction deal with US Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox.