STV shares rise as digital revenue jumps 25%

STV chief executive Rob Woodward

Shares of Glasgow-based media company STV Group rose about 2% after it said in a trading update that it made a positive start to 2016 and that its digital revenues were up 25% for the first and second quarters.

“We have made a positive start to 2016 with the launch of an enhanced digital news service within the STV family of consumer services,” said Rob Woodward, chief executive of STV Group.

“We are particularly pleased with the strong growth in our digital and regional revenues.  

“STV Productions has a strong pipeline for delivery and a number of re-commissions, including today’s announcement of a re-commission for Sky, have been announced.”

STV said trading during the first quarter was in line with expectations.

It said that in the second quarter, STV national revenues are expected to be flat while regional revenues are expected to be up 12%.  

“Overall for the first half of FY2016, total airtime revenues are expected to be up 2%, with national airtime revenues expected to be down 1% and regional airtime revenues continuing to perform strongly up 23%,” said the company. 

STV Productions announced a re-commission for Sky for a second series of the documentary series ‘Prison: First & Last 24 Hours.’

“The productions business has had a good start to 2016 with revenues secured for delivery in 2016 above the level achieved for the whole of 2015 … the business continues to have a strong pipeline of development activity for 2016,” said the company in its update.

STV added that progress had been made on the 2015 valuation of its defined benefit pension schemes and “it is expected that this process will conclude by the end of Q2.”

In February, STV said 2015 revenue fell 3% to £116.5 million but pre-tax profit rose 10% to £19.1 million as an increase in “non-broadcast” earnings including digital helped drive its business.

STV said in February that 22% of its 2015 earnings came from non-broadcast activities “representing significant progress over the past five years when these activities represented only 11% of earnings.”