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ITV share price: what to expect from its Q1 results

ITV advertising revenue will suffer at the hands an uncertain economic and political environment, while investors eagerly await an update on its Q1 performance next week to see if its ambitious growth plans will bear fruit.

ITV Source: Bloomberg

When is ITV’s results date?

ITV will release its Q1 trading update and conduct its annual general meeting (AGM) on May 8.

ITV results preview: what does the City expect?

ITV has been busy this quarter and hoping its hard word will translate into a strong Q1 performance. The broadcaster has seen its ITV Family share of viewing rise by 6% and its volume of viewing climb 2%, while online viewing is up 33%.

However, economic and political uncertainty continues to plague the company, impacting demand for advertising, with total advertising forecast to fall between 3% to 4% during the first 4 months of 2019. Should advertising demand stay within that guidance it is unlikely to impact the share price too much, but its stock could suffer if its Q1 trading update is worse than expected.

ITV has also pre-warned investors that first half 2019 revenues and profits will likely be down compared with figures recorded during the same period last year, because of the boost the FIFA World Cup gave the broadcaster over the summer. First half results are also impacted by investments in its ITV Studios unit being heavily weighted to the second half of the year.

ITV Studios, the production company responsible for producing shows like Coronation Street and Agatha Christie’s Poirot, is expected to deliver strong organic growth for the business this financial year, with £100 million more revenue secured at the end of 2018 than the previous year.

Despite the broadcaster expecting a relatively tame start to the new year, the company remains confident that by the end of 2019 it will have executed well on its strategy and deliver double-digit online revenue growth.

ITV is also confident that it will maintain a robust balance sheet and deliver on its full-year dividend commitment of at least 8p a share.

‘We have started 2019 with strong onscreen and online viewing,’ ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said. ‘However, the economic and political headwinds for the UK will have an effect on the advertising market and while ITV is increasingly diversified, we remain sensitive to this.’

ITV’s bid to become More than TV

Investors are eager for an update on the company’s strategy, with the broadcaster vowing to make good progress on its ‘More than TV’ vision that aims to build on the company’s creativity and strength by investing in data and technology.

This strategy has led to work beginning on BritBox, a new transformational subscription video on demand (SVOD) service, created in partnership with the BBC.

ITV’s net investment in BritBox will be up to £25 million in 2019, rising to around £40m million in 2020 and declining thereafter. This is in addition to the previously announced £40 million essential investment for 2019.

ITV’s £15 million cost savings programme is on track to be delivered in full in 2019, with the company also looking to make strong progress on developing a scaled addressable advertising proposition for the ITV Hub.

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