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LONDON, July 26 (Reuters) - British commercial broadcaster ITV said on Wednesday pressure on its advertising income should ease in the third quarter after it reported first-half results cushioned by solid demand in its production and online businesses.
The broadcaster of "Coronation Street" and "Britain's Got Talent" said net advertising revenue for its family of channels was expected to fall by about 4 percent in the third quarter of the year, compared with an 8 percent drop in the first half.
ITV said its strategy of expanding its studios business and online hub to counter fluctuations in its advertising sales was paying off, helping it to confirm its full-year outlook.
The group, which has appointed the boss of budget airline easyJet Carolyn McCall, as its new chief executive from January, has also been helped by strong cost control.
First half revenue fell by 3 percent as income from online and production sales helped cushion the 8 percent advertising fall, while earnings per share at 7.7 pence were ahead of forecasts at 7 pence.
"The strategy we set out a number of years ago was to rebalance the business and reduce our reliance on the UK and on spot advertising," it said. "The progress we have made against this strategy is clearly evident in our performance for the first half of 2017. (Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by James Davey; Editing by Edmund Blair)