British Media Companies Slightly More Optimistic about H209

August 19, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Europe & Middle East | Television

Nearly 30% of British tech, media and telecom firms are more confident or slightly more confident about next quarter than about the current quarter, according to a new study.

The study by BDO Stoy Hayward shows that even more – 38% – said they are at least as confident as in the previous quarter, while 32% were either slightly less confident or much less confident, writes the Guardian.

Companies are using a variety of measures to survive the ad slowdown, including laying off employees, renegotiating with suppliers, reducing R&D, acquiring competitors and shuttering business divisions that aren’t paying. Despite cautious optimism, British media companies are worried about customers defaulting on payments and asking to have credit terms extended. Price cutting from competitors and falling customer demand are also concerns.

Some British media companies, like their U.S. counterparts, seem to believe the worst of the advertising downturn has passed. ITV said earlier this month that the rate of the ad decline would slow in September; newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror also gave a cautiously optimistic outlook for ad revenue in the second half of this year, despite the fact that operating profits were down 32% for the first half, year-over-year. The company said (via the Press Gazette), that July saw notable improvements.

Earlier this summer, CBS said it was seeing signs of improvement.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch said, on reporting the company’s fiscal third-quarter profit, that the worst was over, while Walt Disney Co. CFO Tom Staggs told analysts that the rate of decline in the advertising market was stabilizing. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said the company is seeing “good stable pricing in the market,” and, though volume has been soft, it’s starting to come back in.

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