ITV braces for Brexit as profits rise

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ITV says it will need to cut costs to prepare for economic uncertainty sparked by the UK’s decision to quit the European Union.

The UK’s largest non-subscription commercial TV company said it would target £25m in cost savings in 2017.

Its comments came as it reported a 9% increase in pre-tax profits to £425m in the first half of the year.

ITV said net advertising revenue would slip by about 1% in the first nine months of the year.

However, the forecast was better than expected, and the broadcaster’s shares rose 5% to 185p in early trade.

TV, radio and newspapers have all been hit by fears that advertising spending will be affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, as consumers are expected to rein in spending.

ITV was among the hardest-hit companies by the vote to leave the EU. Its shares slumped to 154p from 219p following the referendum result.

The broadcaster said that total external revenue increased by 11% in the first half of the year to £1.5bn.

“Our strategy of rebalancing and strengthening ITV and building a global production business of scale continues to deliver with double-digit revenue… growth in the first half of the year,” said chief executive Adam Crozier.

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