STV revenue at £56m amid digital earnings boost

STV chief executive Rob Woodward

Glasgow-based media company STV Group said revenue rose 5% to £56.2 million and pre-tax profit rose 50% to £10.2 million in the six months to June 30 as digital earnings and regional operations continued to boost the company.

“Our consistent delivery of sustainable growth over consecutive years continues with double digit growth in operating profit and EPS (earnings per share) resulting in a 90% increase in digital earnings,” said STV chief executive Rob Woodward.

“Overall, consumer business revenues are up year on year with the growth trajectory in digital continuing at a significant rate, up 25%.”

STV’s consumer business revenue was up 2% to £52.7 million and its high-margin digital activities continued to deliver strong growth with revenues up 25% to £3.5 million.

STV Productions’ revenue more than doubled on the same period last year to reach £3.5 million.

“The resilience of our business to fluctuations in national advertising sales is apparent with a high consumer margin being maintained despite a slight reduction in national airtime revenues,” said Woodward.

“As forecast, STV Productions has delivered an improved performance with a stream of new commissions announced this year and, earlier this week, the announcement of a further commission from our strategic partnership with GroupM.

“Our balance sheet continues to strengthen through a further reduction in net debt, down 17%, which along with our strong cash generation, underscores our financial strength.”

Interim dividend rose 33% to 4p per share and the intended final dividend will be 12p per share.

In its outlook, STV said its national airtime revenue is expected to be down 6% in the third quarter but strong growth in the regional market during the first half is expected to continue with an 18% rise in the third quarter.

Digital revenues are expected to be up 25% year on year to the end of the third quarter.