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Aug. 6, 2020, 2:40 a.m. EDT

ITV pretax profit slumps 93%, halts dividend

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By Keith Collins

ITV PLC Thursday said advertising revenue fell 21% in the first half of the year as the pandemic's effects hit production and ad demand, sending pretax profit plunging 93%.

The British broadcaster said it made a pretax profit of 15 million pounds ($19.75 million) down from GBP222 million a year earlier.

Total revenue fell to GBP1.45 billion from GBP1.75 billion a year earlier, the company said. Advertising revenue dropped to GBP671 million from GBP849 million a year earlier. Studios revenue fell 17% to GBP630 million.

ITV said it had decided not to a pay an interim dividend in light of continued economic uncertainty. ITV said it isn't possible to provide guidance for the third quarter or the remainder of the year given the level of uncertainty.

The company said it has taken steps to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, including previously announced cost-savings plans.

BritBox is ahead of target on subscribers in the U.K., and it plans to roll out the service in Australia later this year, ITV added.

Write to Keith Collins at keith.collins@wsj.com

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