ITV , Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, said it expected to outperform the wider television advertising market in 2011 after reporting better than expected trading in the third quarter.

The company, home to such shows as the X Factor and Coronation Street, said on Monday net advertising revenues in the three months through September were up 1 percent, compared with its previous forecast for ad revenues to be slightly down.

Analysts polled by Reuters had been expecting net ad revenues for the group of channels to be flat.

The group, which has been boosted by a better performance on screen and from its studios division, said that its strong focus on cash and costs had resulted in net debt falling to 43 million pounds, from 188 million pounds at the start of the year.

Capital expenditure is forecast to be around 50 million pounds in 2011 compared with an earlier guidance of 80 million pounds.

It expects to be net cash positive at the year end.

However the group said it remained cautious for the outlook of 2012, with tough comparatives expected in the first quarter, which analysts had expected due to the poor visibility.

Despite difficult economic and market conditions our revenues are up 4 percent to 1.52 billion pounds in the first nine months of the year, Chief Executive Adam Crozier said.

We are on track to be net cash positive at year end. This is a substantial improvement given that our net debt stood at 612 million pounds at the beginning of 2010.

(Reporting by Kate Holton)