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Broadcaster ITV says economic uncertainty to hit ad sales

Broadcaster ITV says economic uncertainty to hit ad sales
A company sign is displayed outside an ITV studio in London, Britain July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo   -   Copyright  Neil Hall(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British commercial broadcaster ITV <ITV.L> reported a slightly better-than-expected 2 percent rise in 9-month advertising but said the increasingly uncertain economic outlook would take a toll on the fourth quarter.

ITV, which had forecast 1 percent growth for the period, said advertising revenue was expected to be down around 3 percent in the fourth quarter and broadly flat over the full year.

Analysts had cautioned ahead of the trading update that the lack of a political agreement on Britain’s departure from the European Union in less than five months’ time could deter major brands from spending on advertising.

Home to Coronation Street and the X-Factor, ITV has been rebuilding itself in recent years to reduce its reliance on volatile advertising by bulking up its studio production arm.

It said revenue at its Studio business was up 10 percent, meaning the overall group is trading in line with expectations.

“We are very focused on executing our strategy to create a stronger, structurally sound business, building on our strong operating performance in the areas of the business which are under our control,” Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said.

(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Jason Neely and Sarah Young)

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