ITV sees profits rise despite falling audience share

Shows such as Coronation Street have boosted ITV
Shows such as Coronation Street have boosted ITV
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Broadcaster ITV has announced its sixth straight year of double-digit profit growth despite falling audience figures.

Underlying profits before tax rose 18​ per cent​ for the full year to £843​m, with total revenues climbing 14​ per cent​ to £3.3​bn over the same period.

It also forecast a bright year ahead for the business and announced a special dividend of 10p per share​, ​returning £400m to shareholders​

Its family share of viewing was down ​three per cent​.

Chief executive Adam Crozier said: "As we look to 2016 and beyond, we see further significant opportunities for growth across the company organically and through acquisitions and partnerships."

ITV said it expect​s​ to outperform the television advertising market in 2016​.

The broadcaster of soap opera "Coronation Street" and crime drama "Vera" said net advertising revenue would be flat in the first quarter, marginally behind the market, before picking up for the European Football Championship in the second quarter.

ITV, which has expanded it production arm in recent years, said it uniquely delivered the mass audiences demanded by advertisers.

But the share of viewing achieved by its main ITV channel fell ​four​ per​ ​cent in 2015, which it put down to the launch of new digital channels, some shows not performing as well as it had expected and a relatively strong performance from the BBC.