Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Wednesday, 5 November 2008

ITV predicts 'challenging' 2009

Scene from Coronation Street
ITV broadcasts programmes such as Coronation Street

Broadcaster ITV has predicted that the current economic slowdown will hit TV and online advertising in 2009.

The group also said its net advertising revenue had fallen 2.5% to 1.04bn in the first nine months of 2008 amid "tough economic conditions".

However, ITV said the company outperformed the total TV market, which fell 3.2% during the same period.

ITV shares lost 7.2% in morning trading despite the group maintaining its advertising market share of over 43%.

The group predicts that it could see another 9% fall in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Online revenues - a key part of the ITV's strategy - are also expected to be affected until the end of the year and in 2009.

According to ITV's statement, it is the first time in over 25 years that the company, which broadcasts shows such as X Factor and Coronation Street, has maintained its advertising market share year-on-year.

"We remain focused on delivering our turnaround strategy, whilst driving efficiency savings across the business, supported by our strong financial liquidity," said ITV chairman Michael Grade.

ITV is aiming to make an extra 35m of cost savings by the end of 2010. The plan is also expected to lead to hundreds of job cuts.

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