ITV Unveils Special Dividend

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LONDON -- ITV  (LSE: ITV  ) , the U.K. commercial television network responsible for ITV1, 2, 3, 4 and CITV, released full-year results today that saw external revenue increase by 3% to 2,196 million pounds and adjusted profit before tax up 17% to 464 million pounds with profit before tax increasing 6% to 348 million pounds. All areas of the business saw growth, with total non-net advertising revenue up 12% to 1,036 million pounds and ITV studios revenue increasing 16% to 712 million pounds. Online, pay, and interactive revenue also increased by 26% 102 million pounds.

The steady growth figures resulted in a lift in the earnings per share of 16% to 9.2 pence. In addition, a final dividend was proposed of 1.8 pence, giving a full-year dividend of 2.6 pence (2011: 1.6 pence) and a special dividend of 4 pence.

Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, said:

We're now almost three years into our Transformation Plan and our strong performance is delivering growth right across ITV, enabling us to build a stronger and more balanced business.

In 2012 we achieved double digit earnings growth for the third year running, in a broadly flat advertising market. We now have non-advertising revenues of more than 1 billion pounds, an increase of 114 million pounds or 12% year on year, fueled by a strong performance in ITV Studios and our Online, Pay & Interactive business.

A key part of the Transformation Plan is building an international content business. ITV Studios achieved strong organic growth both in the U.K. and overseas, with revenues up by 100 million pounds to 712 million pounds, driven by our ongoing investment in creative talent and developing new programs. We're now building on our healthy creative pipeline with selective acquisitions in key and emerging creative markets.

Investors have reacted favorably in early trading. ITV's share price has risen by 1.5% to 122 pence. Three years of sustained growth in turnover and profits show all the signs of a company focused on thriving in the digital, online and interactive era. ITV plan to achieve cost savings of 20 million pounds in 2013, which will in turn fund investments in content pipeline, technology and online. The fact that ITV feels it can generate enough cash to invest in the growth of the business and pay out a special dividend should be heartening news. We could be seeing the beginning of a period of strong growth.

If ITV can continue to achieve its transformation plan targets, it could be a rewarding year for investors with some significant growth opportunities. If you are interested in tapping into similar opportunities, then take a look at this free report, which could help you on your way.

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