ITV shares fall 10% as broadcaster reveals impact of coronavirus

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ITV has posted full-year results ahead of expectations despite travel firms pulling advertising due to coronavirus.

The broadcaster said that turnover for the year to December 31st 2019 was £3.2bn, compared to £3.3bn the year before, with pre-tax profits down from £567m to £530m.

But it said that the ongoing coronvirus outbreak has hurt advertising revenue in 2020.

“In March and April, we have seen an impact from travel advertising deferments relating to the coronavirus,” ITV said.

"At this stage it is too difficult to assess the further implications of the coronavirus but we continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Chief financial officer Chris Kennedy added: “At this time of year it’s £130m of ad spend month by month so even a relatively small percentage change can equate to a lot of money."

ITV is forecasting a dip in advertising revenues of at least 10% in April due to coronavirus, news which sent shares down by more than 10% today.

“At this stage it is too difficult to assess the further implications of the coronavirus but we continue to monitor the situation closely,” the company added.

Total advertising revenues fell by 1.5% last year to £1.76bn, but that was offset by a 21% rise in online advertising through its ITV Hub service.