Swot Analysis and Recommendation Finance Essay

Published: 2021-06-28 22:05:05
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This report is going to evaluate ITV PLC strategically using the SWOT analytical framework. This will need to highlight and evaluate the major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the company at the moment with appropriate key recommendation(s) as to future policy objectives. Contents Terms of reference: This report is going to be prioritised on the well-known British media establishment known as the Independent Television Authority (ITA) PLC; nowadays known as ITV. There will be research gathered from various reliable sources that can document the past as well as the present performance. This will be net based sources such as the ITV website itself or using Google scholar search engine to find relevant articles that may cover good points. Libraries with up to date knowledge on the topic will be utilised also. The report shall highlight their major strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats when using the SWOT analytical framework. All data gathered and research done shall be up to date; giving the reader a more relative intake on the current happenings. After summing up all findings; suggestions for positive impacts in the future for the business will be noted. Introduction: Due to the Television Act becoming law in 1954, it triggered the opportunity for commercial television service in the United Kingdom; producing the Independent Television Authority. (History ITV plc, 2012). The broadcasting act of 1990 made it possible for regional companies following both acts to start merging. In 1994 is when ITV first merged and it was with Grenada bought LWT. (History ITV plc, 2012). This report is going to be investigating the well-known broadcasting firm ITV PLC. The report will be investigating what their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are. The research carried will mainly be from primary sources; such as, surveys, questionnaires, cases etc. However there will be some secondary sources also. Their past performance up till now will be presented along with an analysis of how their strengths and weaknesses have played a part in their overall performance. The opportunities will be closely assessed to see how ITV PLC can better their performances. In contrast the threats will be closely looked at as well since this may jeopardize their performance rates. This report will then have recommendations on what should be done to maximise the well-being of the plc. Methodology: This report is going to be of a short structure mainly. This means that the findings and data will be mostly secondary for ITV plc. Although the statistics and information gathered will be secondary they would need to be relevant hence the latest data will be utilized. The initial source of info was retrieved from ITV PLC website. The company’s history, what it’s specialises as well as competition involved was highlighted in this source. The majority of figures mentioned in this report are straight from ITV PLC Annual report; however the website also provides financial reports from the media sales section which is very handy. Unbiased sources were used when looking at ITV’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These included: fame report on ITV, Market line ITV, media websites, journals and media competitors etc. Findings and Analysis Since the television act of 1954 it made it possible for ITV to start broadcasting in 1955 on channel 3 London based (ITV PLC). ITV’s net advertising revenue (NAR) has increased by 1% according their annual financial report; £1496m in 2010 to £1510m in 2011 for online broadcasting. Their total revenue concerning ITV studios has increased by 10%; from £554m to £612m over the years 2010 and 2011. ITV’s profit before taxation increased from 2064 to 2140 according to their profit and loss sheet (ITV plc, Fame 2012); evident in their greater profit margin from 13.86 to 15.28. However their fixed assets have been decreasing since 2005 according to their financial report presented by FAME. The Strengths ITV PLC is recognised for its good reputation since it started broadcasting television right from the beginning. It is well known across the UK since they broadcast nationally generating a vast amount of profits according to their annual financial reports conveyed above. Media industry market report conveys that ITV is the biggest commercial television network in the United Kingdom. ITV plc attracts the greatest audience in comparison to any other broadcaster in the UK. They control a great share of the advertising market in the UK (Media industry Market Report); increased from 44.7% in 2009 to 45.1% in 2010. In the year 2010 they stood out in comparison to the entire televising advertising market by 1% since their revenues grew by 16% mean whilst the whole industry grew by 15%. ITV’s seamless operations model enables synergies. They benefit from the continuity of the business as the company, producing content that is distributed via various platforms. ITV operates over a vast range of channels that are portrayed along multiple platforms; including ITV.com and ITV player. ITV is available anywhere; whether it be, analogue, digital satellite, cable and Freeview. Through itv.com, ITV player enables the audience to have another opportunity to watch missed programs on demand. The company content has now been made available to games consoles such as; XBOX and PlayStation. The channels of ITV continue to launch more channels; itv2, itv3 and itv4 (itv plc). Due to technology advancements ITV have produced HD quality content for the majority of their channels. This is a key advantage since the cost for the content is the same but it is addressing a more diverse customer base. ITV has key shows that are key brands for their advertisements. For example; this involves ‘X-Factor’ and ‘I’m a celebrity’. These shows did not perform as well as they did in 2010(ITV Annual Report, 2012). However they are still important brands since they still appeal to a large diverse audience; this gives great appeal for to advertisers. The average audience for X-Factor over the period of the series is 12.3 million (ITV Annual Report). This increases revenue for the company. The company has made sure that they work hard to decrease debt which has aided there being a stronger balance sheet as well as developing a leaner cost structure. Fame, stating ITV’s balance sheet shows that the net debts position decreased from £612 million to £188 million over years 2009 and 2010. Another positive from these records is that adjusted cash flow rose from £345 million to £517 million during the same period. This rooted from their bettered profits as well as their strong quality profit to cash recording at 127%. The lower debts highlight good position of the company to expand at feasible rates due to these newly recorded funds. Their positive net cash position of £92 million (‘ITV plc interim, June 2012). Weaknesses Even though ITV is the most dominant in the television industry it still haves it negatives. ITV is very vulnerable to the instability of the structure of the television market advertising. The company mostly depends on the television advertising market which is very unstable and that is ITV’s main source of revenue. Their success financial via other streams has been limited. Although their revenues have heightened, they stay subscale compared to ITV’s studios and its broadcasting businesses’ revenues declined, underlining how the extent that they depend on television advertising market. ITV have witnessed the steady erosion of their free-to-air broadcasting scheme. This is evident on the ITV1’s share of viewing as well as commercial influences steadily decline over a vast amount of years. Moreover the company was lacking technology wise and the digital platform scheme was underdeveloped. It was only until the fourth quarter in 2010 that ITV gained access to the pay TV market (media market, 2012). The actual television market is also experiencing a structural deficit since it is more competitive mean whilst the television is being viewed on alternate sources more and more. Subsequently audiences have parted according to their individual tastes; challenging the effectiveness of the advertising. Moreover ITV has no firm source of incomes when considering the subscription, and have restricted accessibility to the robust pay TV market; highlighting the vulnerability to the instability that partners the television advertising market. ITV has a lack of scale when it comes to competing effectively with its rivals; for example BBC and Sky. ITV’s revenue figures conveyed £2,064 million FY2010 mean whilst employing 3,947 people (ITV plc, 2011). In contrast, Sky, documented revenues of £5,912 million during the summer period of 2010; employing 16,439 people. Similarly, BBC’s revenues were reported to be at £4790.4 million for year 2010, employing 22,861 people (Media Marketline, 2012). A huge scale empowers these competitors advance their technologies so that can access a higher level of resources. Lack of scale means that the company ability to contend efficiently in accomplishing economy of scale. Opportunities ITV is capable of growing their advertisements via the web. The industry estimations state that the online advertising market will be valued at £5 billion by the end of 2012. Out of the whole of the United Kingdom’s spending done for advertising purposes, 25% is done online. In comparison 2010 shows that the market was 23% and but the end of 2011 it recorded a rise by 12.8%. Online advertisements have boosted directly proportionally to the UK’s active online user base growth to 40.6million by the time 2011 finishes. The strong growth progresses as long as the advertisements that are done online continue to outdo the whole market. Reflecting the industry trends, revenues gained by ITV online mainly contain income sourced from web advertising increased in 2011 by 17% (ITV plc Interim, 2012). The fresh stream of revenues as well as overall strong growth witnessed in the market will have a positive influence on the company’s top line growth. Considering ITV’s competitors BBC and Sky; ITV has a lack of scale. (BusinessWeek Bloomberg, ITV, 2012) They employed 3,958 people whilst having revenue figures of £2,064 million mean whilst Sky and BBC have greater revenues due to their larger scales; hence both competitors having greater amount of employees. ITV could capitalise on this and employ more workers in an attempt to raise revenue. Rather than solely depending on their online advertisements (Hudson, 2011). On the ITV annual report it states that ITV2 and ITV3 remains largest digital channel in UK because of their customers taste. ITV may make them channels require subscription; especially since ITV2 won the digital channel of the year. It terms of competition they could make the channel cheaper in comparison to Sky but still show the same content. ITV does not do 3D coverage; which is essential due to the latest technological advancements. ITV may tap into their pay TV market in an attempt to raise their revenues. ITV have made a few attempts to break into the pay TV market. The initial attempts for this move into pay television were with ITV2, 3 and 4 high definitions; launched during the pay wall of Sky in 2010 (Media Marketline, 2011). This is a very profitable three year deal for ITV from the beginning, although it is only one footstep into pay television. ITV has showed that making a pay scheme for the future is a main part of the eight work goals. ITV is prioritising its efforts on creating an improved and restructured itv.com begins payment trials online. Moreover, its YouView is to initiate consumer trials in the early period of 2011 and was said to properly start-off in 2012. It did, and by five years’ time ITV will source half of their income from varied places rather than advertising. Meaning the vulnerability to the unstable advertising market will be diminished. The industry estimates there to be a forecast of 63 billion pounds in 2012 hence ITV may capitalize on this opportunity and grab a share (ITV annual report, 2012). The company will then be able to diverse their sources of revenue and enhance the generation of revenue potential. Threats ITV is involved in an intense competition against other broadcasting, production and media companies. Due to the greater variety of choice for customers it has put great stress on ITV network’s ratings as well as revenue from advertisements. Their main rival players are Sky, Channel 4, BBC, and RDF media group. There are even competitors that are from non-conventional players such as Vivo and YouTube, which also offer amusement online. The actions of rival competitors may potentially have an influence on ITV’s market share as well as their revenue growth. There have been various technological advancements in this industry. The company operate in swiftly altering media and entertainment markets. A few of ITV’s businesses rely greatly on their capability in acquiring, developing and exploiting new technologies to differentiate their services from rival companies. This process may be very time consuming and necessitate substantial capital investments. If the company was to pick undeveloped technologies that were less effective, cost-inefficient and unattractive to customers. Their competitive edge in the industry will decline; having a knock on effect on their financial results having a negative impact. Due to the volatility of the economy it is most likely to enforce a slow growth in advertising. The undefined forecasts of the macro economic developments have influenced advertising expenditure negatively. The affects have been experienced in the revenues depreciated by 2.2% with the overall market dropping by 1.1% in the latter part of 2011. Nonetheless, online expenditure rose by 6.4%. The entire deficit is the initial point in where the market contracted in 2009, showing that the idea of recovery was not going to occur. From research, the United Kingdom advertisement spending is now estimated to increase by a mere 0.9% in 2011, a disappointment in terms of the initial forecast of 1.4% (BussinessWeek Article, 2011). This year the majority of the media are expected to be contracted in reference to their predictions. ITV solely depends on advertising for revenue and this will be greatly influenced by the advertising expenditure according to Hudson (2012). Conclusion ITV’s reputation and great ethics have permitted the business to exceed in their industry. They don’t only advertise online but they have a range of channels for the diverse audience in the United Kingdom. The variety of channels allows them to target a wide range and expand their business. Due to ITV 2 winning the digital channel of the year; this could be the platform for Pay TV to raise revenue for the company. Their services are international due to itv.com which has ITV player enabling consumers to watch content on demand. The company’s lack of scale didn’t give them the competitive edge they needed on BBC and Sky. The amount of employees surpassed the amount of ITV’s hence their revenue figures reflected this. Their tactical business model has been seen to be prioritised solely on the identified opportunities. Although they may come against a few threats the vast amount of opportunities accessible anticipate a positive future for the company. Recommendations Judging from the weaknesses and opportunities above, personally I believe there are a few suggestions that can be brought up to better the future for ITV plc. For example; one of their main weaknesses is the fact they have a lack of scale; especially in comparison to their competitors BBC and Sky. The opportunity that I believe will counteract this is by them employing more and branching out rather than just depending solely on their advertisements to for revenue and growth. Another weakness is the fact that they depend mainly on their advertisements as a source of revenue. This is bad due to the instability of the advertising market hence I suggest that they use their digital awarded channel of the year, ITV2 to step into the Pay TV prospect. That way, consumers will pay to subscribe giving them another source for revenue. Sky has its own viewing box, perhaps if ITV was to capitalise and create their own viewing box for a cheaper price it would steer some demand in their direction, dependent on the content shown on the channels. The main strengths of ITV that I think should be identified is the fact they are a well-known in their industry and funding wise they are in the position to expand. The threat of them depending too much on the volatility of the advertisement market for revenue may be decapitated if they expand and capitalise on other sides of the businesses. This may mean them having their own movie channel; broadband or even their own pay TV box.

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