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ITV invests in online after 45% profit increase

ITV invests in online after 45% profit increase

Broadcaster recently revealed its rollout of Google Apps across the business

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ITV, the broadcaster, has announced it will be investing in building its online business, after reporting a 45 percent increase in profits.

In its interim results for the half year ended 30 June 2011, ITV today revealed that “solid progress” in the first year of its five-year Transformation Plan had helped to increase its profit from £165 million in 2010 to £240 million this year. It added that its cost-saving programme is on track to deliver £15 million of savings in 2011.

“Our new online team is investing in both quality of technology and ease of use, and in driving up commercial performance,” ITV said in its results.

It aims to invest £25 million in online, content and digital channels this year, of which it has already spent £12 million in the first half of 2011. Revenues for the online business increased by 33 percent to £16 million in the period.

Among its initiatives, ITV plans to widen the distribution of its play-back platform, ITV Player, which is now available on Freesat, Playstation 3 and on Android and Apple devices. The number of average monthly unique users online grew 19 percent to 10.8 million, while views of long videos on the site rose by 64 percent to 180 million across all of its platforms.

ITV is also planning to introduce an online payment scheme by the start of next year to test what users will be willing to pay for.

However, the company also plans to increase its capital expenditure this year from £28 million last year to £80 million, focusing on “fixing” its core business technology and to fund the move of its Manchester site to MediaCity in Salford.

ITV recently revealed that it is adopting Google Apps for its 7,000 employees, as well as Apple Mac computers, as part of its transformation plan. Chief executive Adam Crozier unveiled the transformation plan last August.

“We are one year into our five-year transformation plan and have made significant progress so far. However, there is still a great deal to do," he said. “We remain committed to our strategy of creating great content, delivering and exploiting it across multiple platforms and selling it internationally."

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