British broadcaster ITV says ad revenue is rebounding

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LONDON — ITV said its advertising revenue was rebounding from the COVID-19 hit last year, with April up 68%, May expected to be up about 85% and June up between 85% and 90%, boosted by the Euros soccer tournament and the return of “Love Island.”

The British broadcaster said in a trading update on Wednesday that it expected total ad revenue for the first half to up around 26% on 2020, despite pandemic restrictions being in place for nearly all of the period.

Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said: “We have made a good start to 2021 with total revenue and total viewing both up, despite the continuing impact of the pandemic.

“We finished the quarter strongly with the substantial majority of our shows back in production and a recovery in the advertising market.”

The company, which has a Studios production arm and a Media and Entertainment arm, said its total external revenue for the first quarter rose 2% to 709 million pounds ($985 million), driven by a 9% increase in Studios.

($1 = 0.7198 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton)