ITV commits to £40 million more cost savings

LONDON - ITV has pledged to make another £40 million in cost-saving measures from next year after reporting continuing weakness in advertising revenues.

Grade... ITV executive chairman
Grade... ITV executive chairman

The broadcaster today announced that it was making good progress towards delivering the previously reported savings of £155 million for 2009, but is keen to make further cuts across the business over the next few years.

As a result, it plans to increase its total cost savings to £215 million in 2010 and £285 million in 2011.

So far this year, ITV has cut 600 jobs, closed its Yorkshire TV studios and reduced its annual programming budget in a bid to save cash.

The cuts came in response to a fall of 16 per cent in net television advertising revenue, although this remains ahead of the market average, which is estimated to be down 17 per cent.

In a statement made in advance of the company's annual general meeting, which is to be held today, ITV said group revenues in the first quarter of the year were £425 million, a fall from the £492 million reported during the same period last year.

Micheal Grade, the executive chairman of ITV, said: "The television advertising market remains weak. However, ITV continues to outperform the market, reflecting the continued strength of our on-screen performance, particularly in peaktime. In addition, we are holding our content revenues in tough domestic and international markets and we are attracting record users online."