Why ITV Is Up 33% This Year

LONDON -- ITV (ISE: ITV.L) has advanced 33% to 91 pence so far during 2012, making the share one of this year's best performers in the FTSE 100.

The commercial television network, which operates a number of channels including ITV1 and broadcasts such hit shows as TheX Factor and Downton Abbey, seems to have impressed investors with a series of notable statements.

During March, ITV announced 2011 results that showed revenue rise 4% to 2.14 billion and profits improve 24% to 398 million pounds. Encouragingly for income investors, a full-year dividend of 1.6 pence per share was announced -- ITV's first annual payment since 2008.

During May, ITV's first-quarter statement revealed that revenue had risen by 13% to 565 million pounds. The main push came from nonadvertising revenue, which jumped 43% to 87 million pounds, with the impetus being the good sales of ITV Studios' productions in the U.K. and the U.S.

Then in July, ITV disclosed half-year results that showed revenue rising by 10% to 1.13 billion pounds, profits increasing by 15% to 235 million pounds, and an interim dividend doubling that of 2011 at 0.8 pence per share. The company also revealed a strengthened balance sheet, with net cash of 92 million pounds.

Adam Crozier, ITV's chief executive, said:

The Transformation Plan continues to gain momentum. External revenues are up 10% with all areas of the business delivering growth. The 106 million pound increase in non-advertising revenues-from content, pay and online-was particularly significant and is further evidence that our strategy of rebalancing the business and growing new revenue streams is working. Our relentless focus on cash and costs remains key. We're on track to deliver cost savings of 20 million pounds this year and our cash conversion is over 100%.

ITV's next trading update will be published on Nov. 13, which may reveal further stirring news that can impress investors.

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