ITV set to report that pre-tax profits tripled in 2010

The broadcaster has seen an increase in ad revenues, which are likely to rise in April, with the roy

ITV is expected to report pre-tax profits of around £300m, after a 16 per cent rise in ad revenues, on the back of the success of popular period drama Downton Abbey, The X Factor and the World Cup.

The broadcaster is expected to announce its intention to reinstate a dividend this year.

Ad revenues are expected to go up by 20 per cent in April, with the royal wedding and Easter attracting more viewers.

ITV is currently in a strong position financially; its net debt has halved to around £300m, with analysts forecasting that it could be wiped out entirely by the end of the year, and it has over £700m in the bank.

There is much speculation that ITV will acquire a production company to boost its underperforming in-house production business, ITV Studios, which produces Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

The company's pension deficit, which stood at £449m is thought to have benefited from a general improvement in the market.

ITV's online business is expected to report revenues of £20m, 2 per cent of revenues, with the operation planning to increase digital revenues.