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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 09:45 GMT
ITV rattled as ad revenues fall
I'm a Celebrity contestants (L-R: David Gest, Matt Willis and Scott Henshall)
ITV says its terrestrial channel fared well with peak time shows
Broadcaster ITV has been hit by a further drop in advertising revenues for the year.

In the 12 months to 31 December, net advertising revenues at its key terrestrial channel ITV1 fell 12.5%, while revenues at GMTV slipped by 3%.

ITV added regional advertising had given it a boost while digital revenues had risen 37% , but this was not enough to outweigh the fall at ITV1 and GMTV.

The group said trading for 2006 was in line with forecasts.

It also said it was on target to cut costs by 40m by 2008.

But ITV added it had received a boost from regional advertising, while digital ad revenues had risen 37%.

The group said it was on target to cut costs by 40m by 2008.

It added that it had managed to maintain its position as the UK's most popular peak-time channel, with an average peak-time share for adult viewers of 27.3%, compared with BBC One's 24.5%.

New chief

The trading update came just weeks after the group named former BBC chairman Michael Grade as its replacement for boss Charles Allen, who quit ITV in August.

The future of the firm has been hanging in the balance amid rising competition from digital TV firms, low viewing figures and falling advertising revenues.

Analysts had speculated that the firm could become a takeover target and the group turned down a 4.7bn approach from cable operator NTL.

Last month, rival broadcaster BSkyB bought a 17.9% stake in ITV for 940m.

ITV shares closed 1.8% lower at 107.5p on London's FTSE100 index.

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