ITV Trebles Profits But Still Seeks Creative Renewal

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ITV reported a huge rise in profits this week. Driven by content such as the 2010 World Cup and The X Factor, pre-tax profits came in at £321 million for 2010, compared to £109 million for 2009. Revenues were up to £2 billion.

The figures were welcomed by CEO Adam Crozier, though a massive rebound in ad revenues disguised the fact that ITV's performance in emerging areas of the business was weaker than the previous year. For example, revenues from in-house production and online were down, suggesting the company has some way to go if it is to cushion itself effectively from exposure to future volatility in the spot advertising market.

Crozier himself gave an honest appraisal. While he said that there is "a real momentum for change being built up within ITV" he also stressed that the recovery in TV advertising "serves to remind us just how volatile this market can be".

One of Crozier's priorities since taking over has been "creative renewal" within ITV's production arm. After revealing that profits fell by £10m in 2010 to £81m, he said this continued to be a key goal. In terms of budgets, he said ITV would allocate £800m to network shows this year.