ITN publishes 2018 Annual Report and Accounts

15 April 2019

ITN returned to growth in 2018, with operating profit up 14% to £6.6m [2017: £5.8m], while Group revenue remained steady at £126.9m [2017: £126.4m].

Read the ITN Annual Report for 2018 [PDF]

The company delivered a solid performance in what continues to be a challenging trading environment, producing work of a wider variety than ever and broadcasting the type of high-impact journalism with which it is synonymous.

ITN’s work in 2018 spanned major exclusives, including Channel 4 News’s Cambridge Analytica undercover investigation and ITV News’s interview with Novichok poisoning victim Charlie Rowley, as well as critically-acclaimed long-form television programmes such as the Royal Television Society-nominated Michael Palin in North Korea, and major live events programming on the Royal Wedding and international athletics.

Financial headlines:

• Group revenue up by 0.4% to £126.9m (2017: £126.4m)

• Operating profit up 14% to £6.6m (2017: £5.8m)

• Profit before tax decreased by 64% to £1.3m (2017: £3.7m). The decrease was largely driven by the non-recurrence of of the £2.6m exceptional gain from the sale of ITN’s stake in the Diagonal View joint venture in 2017.

• Broadcast News revenues increased by 1% to £88.9m (2017: £87.8m)

• ITN Productions revenues decreased by 2% to £38.0m (2017: £38.6m) but, after excluding the impact of the previously announced closure of the archive sales and representation business which was implemented mid-2017, ITN Productions revenues grew by 5%.

Operational highlights:

• ITN continued to combine critical acclaim with commercial success winning 34 awards, including two Royal Television Society awards apiece for Channel 4 News and ITV News London

• Another relentless year of news coverage saw an accumulated maximum audience reach of 11.4 million UK viewers for all ITN news programmes.

• From Channel 4 News’s undercover investigation into Cambridge Analytica; ITV News’s exclusive interviews with Charlie Rowley and Sir Cliff Richard; and 5 News’s mental health series marking 70 years of the NHS, our original journalism set the agenda and had far-reaching impact.

• ITN Productions won 30 commissions, totalling over 500 hours of broadcast television, and delivering a slew of new programmes, including daily talk show Jeremy Vine and prestige travelogue Michael Palin in North Korea for Channel 5, Frankie Boyle’s pre-World Cup series Frankie Goes to Russia for the BBC, and Trevor McDonald and the Killer Nurse for ITV.

• Sports Production saw the ongoing development of ITN’s partnership with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ahead of this year’s World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. ITN Productions will be the broadcast production partner during the Championships, which are watched by a huge international television audience.

• Advertising Production had an excellent year, with a 79% increase in revenue to £5.4m, bouncing back from a difficult market in 2017. New business wins included the Camelot National Lottery Results shows, which broadcast the lottery results live in ITV prime-time ad breaks every Wednesday and Saturday evening. Overall, the Ads team produced 42 commercial projects.

• Digital Content Services revenues increased by 8% to £12.2m. This was driven by a combination of growth in Industry News with 280 films sold in the year (2017: 245), increased News Productions revenues which benefited from coverage of popular stories such as the Royal Wedding and increased Education business reflecting a new contract for the provision of content to Pearson.

ITN chief financial officer Bryan Martin said “2018 was a successful year as we returned to growth in what remains a challenging market. Our award-winning journalism continues to set the news agenda, and in ITN Productions we’ve produced a wider range of content than ever before for clients around the world. On the horizon we have the World Athletics Championships in Doha – where ITN will be the official broadcast production partner – as well as a whole host of exciting commissions and returning programmes, meaning 2019 is already shaping up to be another great year.”

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