ITV increases its full year dividend by 27.6% and pays special

DividendMax Ltd.

ITV increases its full year dividend by 27.6% and pays special

Revenue growth across all parts of the business

Total external revenue up 15% at £2,972m (2014: £2,590m)

6% growth in Net Advertising Revenue to £1,719m (2014: £1,629m)

Online, Pay & Interactive up 23% to £188m (2014: £153m)

Total ITV Studios revenue up 33% to £1,237m (2014: £933m)

25% growth in Non-NAR to £1,664m (2014: £1,327m)

Sixth consecutive year of double digit profit growth

Adjusted EBITA up 18% to £865m (2014: £730m)

Broadcast & Online adjusted EBITA up 16% to £659m (2014: £568m)

Studios adjusted EBITA up 27% to £206m (2014: £162m)

Adjusted PBT up 18% to £843m (2014: £712m)

Adjusted EPS up 20% to 16.5p (2014: 13.8p)

Strong cash flows funding investment and increased shareholder returns

International content business strengthened by further acquisitions including Talpa Media, Twofour Group and Mammoth Screen

Given our strong performance the Board is proposing a final dividend of 4.1p, giving a full year dividend of 6.0p per share, ahead of our previous guidance

Reflecting ITV's strong cash generation and the Board's confidence in the business, it is also proposing a 10.0p special dividend, equivalent to £400m

Positive outlook for 2016

Expect another good year in 2016 with continued revenue growth across both businesses

Over the full year we expect to outperform the television advertising market

Euros football will impact phasing of ITV Family NAR, with Q1 flat while Q2 should be positive

Online, Pay & Interactive will again deliver double-digit revenue growth

ITV Studios will deliver double-digit revenue and profit growth, driven primarily by recent acquisitions

We continue to see opportunities to invest across the business, organically and through acquisitions

Adam Crozier, ITV plc Chief Executive, said:

"ITV delivered another strong year as we continue to grow and strengthen the business in the UK and internationally. Revenues were up 15% to just under £3bn and for the sixth consecutive year we achieved double digit profit growth, as adjusted EBITA grew 18% to £865m, with all parts of the business performing well.

Our Broadcast and Online business remains strong with advertising revenue up 6% and Online, Pay & Interactive up 23%. While our Family Share of Viewing was down 3% for 2015 we have started this year well with SOV on our main channel up 5% and ITV Family SOV up 2%. We have a strong programme slate for 2016, with 50 hours more drama as well as major rugby and football tournaments. ITV uniquely delivers the mass audiences demanded by advertisers. Continuing to deliver this scale and reach, as well as further strengthening our onscreen performance, remains a key focus for the company and particularly for the new creative leadership in the Broadcast business.

ITV Studios continues to perform strongly both organically and from our recent acquisitions, particularly Talpa. Through our ongoing investment ITV Studios has become a global production business with total revenue up 33% to £1.2bn and with 53% of revenues now coming from outside the UK.

We have a very strong international pipeline of new and returning drama including Victoria, Tutankhamun, Houdini and Doyle, Cold Feet, Poldark, Shetland, Aquarius, Endeavour and Vera as well as entertainment formats The Voice, The Voice Kids, Dance Dance Dance, I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, The Chase, Hell's Kitchen and Saturday Night Takeaway. ITVS has already secured a higher proportion of 2016 revenue at this point in the year than in previous years and our good drama slate gives us confidence into 2017.

We'll continue to build scale and to capitalise on the strong demand for high quality content that travels, with a particular focus on investing in creative talent and scripted projects, and working with more channels and platforms in the UK and internationally.

In November we launched the ITV Hub, which is now the digital home for all our channels and services both live and on demand, with live viewing at centre stage. The Hub, which is available on 27 platforms, marks a major step forward in the quality, innovation and ease of use of ITV's online service and has had a really encouraging start. Online demand for our content is growing strongly with people spending 42% more time watching ITV online in 2015 than the previous year. Overall, our Online, Pay & Interactive business is rapidly growing and profitable and is on track to deliver double-digit revenue growth again in 2016.

We will continue to build our expertise in digital media to drive closer engagement with online audiences, develop more targeted and innovative advertising with new initiatives including AdSync+ and ITV AdVentures, and maximise our ability to monetise our content online as well as on pay channels.

For this year we anticipate that the phasing of our television advertising will be very different to 2015 due to the timing of major sporting events. We expect ITV NAR to be flat in Q1, marginally behind the market, against 12% growth in Q1 last year. Q2, which will benefit from the Euros, should be positive. For the full year we again expect to outperform our estimate of the TV ad market.

ITV's strong performance in 2015 builds on the consistently good results we have delivered since we launched our strategy six years ago. Given these results the Board has proposed a final dividend of 4.1p bringing the full year dividend to 6.0p, up 28%, which is ahead of previous guidance.

As we look to 2016 and beyond we see further significant opportunities for growth across the company organically and through acquisitions and partnerships. Reflecting ITV's ongoing strength and confidence for future growth the Board is proposing a £400m special dividend, equivalent to 10.0p per share. Our strong cash generation and robust financial position gives us the flexibility to invest in growing the business while at the same time delivering returns to our shareholders."

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