Rugby World Cup and Love Island boost ITV ad sales

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Molly-Mae Hague from Love Island 2019 visits the Heat Radio Studio's for 'Heat under the Duvet' with Jordan Lee on August 12, 2019 in London, England. Photo: HGL/GC Images

The Rugby World Cup and reality TV show ‘Love Island’ helped boost advertising revenue for UK broadcaster ITV (ITV.L) for the 9 months to 30 September 2019.

The group said in a trading update that revenue grew 1% in the third quarter this year.

"On screen and online viewing performed well with highlights including four of the five highest rating new dramas so far this year and the Rugby World Cup which saw a peak audience of 12.8 million viewers during the final," said Carolyn McCall, CEO ITV.

"ITV Studios' performance in 2019 will benefit from a very strong second half delivery schedule and our Q3 performance reflects this, with good growth across the business, particularly from ITV America with ‘Love Island US’ and the part delivery of ‘Hell's Kitchen’ and ‘Snowpiercer.’

“We expect this performance to continue in Q4, and over the full year we are confident that we will deliver at least 5% growth in ITV Studios' total revenues at a margin of 14% to 16%.”

Shares are up over 2% on the news.

Chart: Yahoo Finance

However, ITV warned that revenues for the year are expected to be down 2% as a whole. It says it’s banking on continuing to “build our creative pipeline” of programmes in the UK and internationally, with shows such as Queer Eye, Saturday Night Takeaway, and Love Island.

"We remain very focused on building a digitally led media and entertainment company to create a stronger, more diversified and structurally sound business. We have a solid balance sheet which enables us to make the right investment decisions and deliver returns to shareholders in line with our guidance of at least an 8p dividend for 2019,” said McCall.