ITN publishes its 2017 Annual Report and Accounts

ITN delivered a solid performance despite facing a more challenging market in 2017.

Full report available here: ITN 2017 Annual Report [PDF]

Group revenue declined 2% to £126.4m, with operating profit decreasing by 8% (excluding restructuring costs), falling for the first time in seven years amid wider economic uncertainty and recession in the advertising markets. Profit before tax rose to £3.7m up 29%, including profit on the sale of Diagonal View.

In a tougher trading environment, the company maintained its momentum with a raft of game-changing deals and commissions as it continued on its path to grow, diversify and change.

A series of firsts saw ITN’s first ever Oscar nomination for Watani: My Homeland; its first Netflix Originals series Drug Lords; its first daytime series commission for Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff and a transformative multi-million pound joint venture with the IAAF.

This performance demonstrates significant progress in the second year of the ambitious 2020 Vision strategy to build a world-class production company.

Financial headlines:

• Group revenue reduced by 2% to £126.4m (2016: £129.7m)

• Operating profit down 19% to £5.8m (2016: £7.1m). Excluding the impact of £1.1m restructuring costs incurred in 2017 (2016: £0.3m), group operating profit declined by 8%.

• Profit before tax increased by 29% to £3.7m (2016: £2.8m) after pension finance costs of £5.2m (2016: £4.7m) and including a £2.6m profit on the sale of ITN’s stake in the Diagonal View joint venture.

• Broadcast News revenues increased by 1% to £87.8m driven mainly by inflationary increases (2016: £86.8m)

• Revenues from ITN Productions decreased by 10% to £38.6m (2016: £42.8), following the decision to exit the third-party archive representation business during 2017 causing an expected reduction in revenues of £5m in its Digital Content Services business.

Excluding the impact of the archive exit, ITN Productions revenues grew by 1%, driven primarily by a substantial 21% increase in TV Production revenues and a 10% increase in Sports Production.

Operational highlights:

• ITN continued to combine critical acclaim with commercial success winning 62 major awards including an Emmy for ITN Productions, two RTS awards for ITV News London, and a record 36 awards for Channel 4 News, including its third International Emmy for News in five years for its coverage of the Syrian civil war.

• A relentless year of news coverage saw all ITN news programmes increase audience share year-on-year for the first time in a decade, reaching a peak accumulated TV news audience of 12.3m.

• From ITV News’ undercover investigation into supermarket chicken; Channel 4 News’ dogged work on Tory Election Expenses to 5 News’ #ThatsHarassment campaign on everyday sexism, our original journalism set the agenda and had far-reaching impact.

• ITN Productions won 50 commissions, totalling almost 200 hours of broadcast television, expanding its client base with the likes of Netflix and Amazon, and delivering a slew of new programmes, including high-profile series like Big Ben: Saving the World’s Most Famous Clock, topical talk show After the News and EasyJet: Inside the Cockpit – ITV’s highest rating factual launch of 2017.

• A landmark year in Sports Production saw ITN Productions become the official Production partner of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), host broadcasting its events including the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha to over 200 territories and an accumulated six billion viewers.

• Advertising Production had a challenging year with a 52% decrease in revenue as the market contracted across the industry. The team delivered 44 projects and won its second ever Grand Prix Award at the Media Week Awards for IamTeamGB.

• Digital Content Services saw licensing and distribution of the ITN archive successfully transferred to Getty Images while Industry News continued to grow with over 240 films sold in 18 countries across six continents. In addition, the education business transitioned into a producer of high-quality bespoke content for global publishers.

ITN CEO John Hardie said: “ITN continues to make significant strides in its ambition to become a truly world-class production company with the right strategy in place to drive the business forward. 2018 is off to a lightning start as we look to continue on our path to grow, diversify and change while producing work of astonishing breadth and quality across ITN.”

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