Britain's ITV reports 5 pct drop in earnings in tough ad market

BARCELONA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - British broadcaster ITV reported a 5 percent drop in adjusted full-year earnings, reflecting the tough advertising environment facing new chief executive Carolyn McCall.

ITV, the country's biggest free-to-air commercial network, reported core earnings of 842 million pounds ($1.17 billion) on Wednesday, with a drop in ad revenue partly offset by underlying growth in its studios business.

McCall, who joined ITV from airline easyJet, said the company's operational performance in 2017 in a challenging environment was strong, and its viewing performance and studio gave it a solid foundation to build on.

($1 = 0.7194 pounds) (Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)