Commercial broadcaster ITV has revealed its net advertising revenue has "stabilised", following a strong performance by its digital channels.

In a trading update for the year ending December 31st 2007, the company also confirmed it was on track to deliver £40 million of planned efficiency savings by 2008.

The UK's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster confirmed net advertising revenue across the group was down 0.6 per cent over the 12-month period, compared to a fall of 8.4 per cent reported for 2006.

Net ad revenue at the company's flagship channel, ITV1, also improved – down by 4.4 per cent following a 12.4 per cent drop last year.

But the turnaround was driven by higher ad venues achieved by the broadcaster's digital channels, which climbed by 32 per cent to £209 million.

ITV, which said it saw no evidence of advertiser demand weakening, confirmed it had also improved viewing figures over the past year.

The company, which has struggled in recent years as a result of competition from digital channels and the internet, confirmed ITV1 had achieved an audience share of 25.4 per cent at peak viewing times - "well ahead" of its nearest commercial competitor.

Meanwhile the broadcaster's online operations are also performing strongly, with achieving a 60 per cent increase in users since the site's relaunch and networking service Friends Reunited also continuing to build its revenues.

Providing an update on the company's turnaround plan, ITV executive chairman Michael Grade said: "ITV plc has made measurable progress during the course of 2007.

"On-screen ITV1's performance has been much improved; we have assembled a formidable senior management team; and we've seen real growth in the whole television advertising market over the second half of the year."

13/12/2007 10:04:29