Britain's ITV (ITV.L) reported a 21% drop in full-year adjusted earnings, not as bad as feared after advertising demand rebounded at the end of the year, adding that trend was positive in a challenging market.
The commercial broadcaster had restarted productions quickly after initial COVID-19 lockdowns and had worked to bring advertisers back to screens, Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said on Tuesday.
"We are seeing more positive trends in the advertising market in March and April and the majority of our programmes are now back in production," she said.
"However, there remains uncertainty in all markets around the world with the potential risk of lockdowns, which if they materialise will affect revenues."
The broadcaster, which aired Oprah Winfrey's interview with Meghan and Prince Harry on Monday, said it forecast total advertising revenue would fall around 6% in the first quarter of 2021, although video-on-demand would be up about 14%.
March advertising revenue was expected to be up around 8% and April expected to leap between 60% and 75%, it said.
ITV said its subscription video-on-demand service BritBox had hit half a million subscriptions in Britain in January, while BritBox US increased its take-up by 50% over the year.
The company reported adjusted group earnings of 573 million pounds ($792 million) on total external revenue of 2.78 billion pounds, down 16%, for 2020.