ITV chief Adam Crozier warns of tough times ahead


The new chief executive of ITV, Adam Crozier, has warned that the rest of 2010 could be tough for the broadcaster as economic uncertainties continue.

In a trading update, Mr Crozier said the post-election outlook could harm the advertising market.

This comes despite ITV reporting a 6% rise in revenues to £450m in the first three months of 2009.

The increase was boosted by an 8% jump in television revenues.

But Mr Crozier said the UK advertising market was "highly exposed" to an uncertain economic outlook.

"ITV's financial performance over the first quarter reflects growth in UK television advertising following last year's record declines," he said.

"The outlook for the latter part of 2010 and early 2011 is tough with more testing year-on-year comparators and uncertain market conditions post-election."

Shares hit

Analysts at Citigroup said Britain's hung parliament means regulatory changes that would help ITV may now be put on the back-burner.

"Even if the the Tories end up in power, perhaps at the head of a minority government... we can be pretty sure the regulatory changes proffered by the Tories either will not come at all or will be pushed down the agenda," Citi said.

ITV's statement hit its shares, which were trading down almost 7% at 56.80p at one stage.

Mr Crozier, who joined ITV two weeks ago, said the recent improvement in advertising should be seen in the context of record declines in 2009.

He said revenues were still below 2008 levels.

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