£5bn for Halifax

Halifax Bank of Scotland has said it is on course to deliver annual profits of more than £5bn.

Halifax Bank of Scotland has said it is on course to deliver annual profits of more than £5bn.

HBOS said it was "comfortable" with analysts' forecasts that underlying profits for 2006 would rise to £5.2bn from £4.8bn last year.

It came as the bank - the UK's largest mortgage provider - said its performance in the first half of the year had been robust.

HBOS said its share of the net mortgage lending market was running at a similar rate to the first half of last year when it hit 17%.

In April, HBOS signalled that its share of new mortgages early this year had returned to within its 15% to 20% target range.

ITV1 ads tumble

BROADCASTER ITV said advertising revenues were continuing to fall as viewers abandoned its flagship channel in favour of digital platforms.

The UK's biggest commercial broadcaster, which has recently been the subject of intense bid speculation, said it expected total advertising revenues to slide 4.6% to £750m in the first half of this year.

ITV1, the home of Coronation Street and The X Factor, has been battling to retain its share of the advertising pot as viewers switch from analogue to digital.

Revenues outside ITV1 have been growing. The broadcaster's digital channels saw a 42% increase in revenues to £69m in the first half, while sponsorship was up 24% to £21m.

However, this was not enough to offset the decline at ITV1.

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