In a conference call on Wednesday, July 30th, ITV plc (LON:ITV) (OTCMKTS:ITVPF) CEO Adam Crozier denied reports that John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp (NASDAQ:LMCA) (NASDAQ:LMCB) taking a stake in ITV meant the firm was looking to sell assets or be acquired. Liberty Media announced it had acquired BSkyB’s 6.4% stake in ITV back on July 17th.
Analysts note ITV’s share price has more than quadrupled over the past five years, and the firm has been the subject of much takeover speculation.
Statement from ITV CEO Crozier
Crozier answered questions from media and analysts after ITV plc (LON:ITV) (OTCMKTS:ITVPF)’s first half conference call. “We are certainly not considering selling off any parts of this business; we are very much in growth mode across the company,” Crozier told reporters during a conference call Q&A this morning. “What Liberty’s intentions are, are a matter for them.”
Crozier also mentioned the only contact he’s had with Liberty Global plc (NASDAQ:LBTYA) (NASDAQ:LBTYA) was a courtesy call from CEO Mike Fries the night before the announcement regarding purchasing BSkyB’s the stake.
“We see clear opportunities for growth across the business — in content, online, pay and advertising and there will be an increasing emphasis on international content creation and distribution,” Crozier continued in answer to a follow-up question.
ITV first half results
ITV plc (LON:ITV) (OTCMKTS:ITVPF)’s first-half results were largely in-line with analyst expectations. Gross revenue was up by 7% to 1.23 billion pounds, boosted mainly by a 20% increase in revenue from pay-TV, Internet and a variety of interactive offerings. That figure compared with the consensus analyst estimate of 1.24 billion pounds in a survey by market data researcher Bloomberg.
The firm also projected at least 15 million pounds in cost savings for the year; that’s a solid five million pounds more than the company’s initial projection.
ITV plc, who owns hit programs such as “Downton Abbey” and “X Factor,” has been working on reducing its dependence on advertising by increasing in-house content creation at home and upping its investment in U.S. production facilities.