London: ITV, Britain’s largest free-to-air broadcaster, posted a 13% rise in 2012 earnings, helped by growth in non-advertising revenues, and said it would pay shareholders a £156 million ($236 million) special dividend.

The firm, home to soap opera Coronation Street, period drama Downton Abbey and talent show The X-factor, on Wednesday reported adjusted earnings for 2012 of £520 million on total external revenues up 3% to £2.2 billion.

ITV said adjusted earnings per share rose 16% to 9.2 pence, ahead of an analysts’ consensus of 8.7 pence, according to Reuters data.

Having ended the year with net cash of £206 million the firm is paying a full year dividend of 2.6 pence a share and a special dividend of 4.0 pence a share.

Non-advertising revenue rose 12% to £1.04 billion with the firm’s production division, ITV Studios, increasing revenue 16% to £712 million.

Adam Crozier, chief executive since 2010, is reshaping ITV’s business from a dependence on revenue from a struggling advertising market, seeking greater revenue streams from television production, online and pay businesses.

Though ITV’s net advertising revenue (NAR) in 2012 was flat, the firm said it outperformed the wider television market.

It said it had made a positive start to 2013 with first quarter advertising expected to be up 5% and continued strong demand for ITV Studios content.

Shares in ITV have increased 50% over the last year, partly due to private equity bid speculation. They closed Tuesday at 120.2 pence, valuing the business at £4.7 billion.

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