Profits up 27%, earnings per share 23% higher, dividend raised 35% with another "special" distribution on the way: yes, four years into a five-year turnaround programme, success at ITV is assured. Smart work, Adam, what's the next trick?
It may be churlish of investors to ask the question of ITV's chief executive,
These are nice strategic problems to have, of course, and Crozier has a further 12 months to draw up his second five-year plan. On current form, though, he ought not to be afraid to tell shareholders that the best course is more international expansion on the content front.
Rather quietly, ITV has been collecting production houses via acquisitions, and can now claim to be a top-five independent producer in the US.
Bolder ambitions could frighten conservative shareholders. But ITV, as conceived of a decade and a half ago, was always meant to be a strong
Internal strife and a dysfunctional structure, then recession, meant the ambition was obscured for years. Now that it is in sight again, why not push harder?
Demand for English-language content is rising; ITV has displayed a talent for judging what sells around the world; and television, it should be clear by now, is not going to be obliterated by the internet.
ITV should keep up its international investment. The kitty is sufficiently full to allow dividends to rise briskly as well.
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