Glasgow-based media firm STV Group plc said its revenue rose 6% to £57.7 million in the six months to June 30, 2018, as STV enjoyed its strongest share of viewing since 2009 at 18.7%, up 13% year-on-year and 10% higher than ITV.
STV CEO Simon Pitts said: “The results announced today show encouraging underlying growth across all of our key business areas so far in 2018, which we expect to continue for the remainder of the year.
“Total advertising revenue is up 6%, on the back of STV’s strongest viewing performance since 2009 and a 73% increase in online viewing via STV Player, fuelled by the World Cup, drama box sets and the soaps.
“We are also making excellent progress with the implementation of our strategic growth plan announced in May, with a new organisational structure in place and new appointments made to lead the team.
“We have signed a valuable, long-term partnership with Virgin Media and we are delighted to be expanding the range of programming available on STV Player through new, innovative content partnerships.
“Our STV Growth Fund has got off to a terrific start with over fifty Scottish businesses already signed up as partners, and we are also looking forward to STV Productions exciting new Scottish drama, The Victim, hitting screens this winter on BBC1.”
First-half profit before tax and exceptional items and IAS19 was up 8% at £9.4 million — but STV reported a statutory first-half loss of £4.2 million following a net exceptional charge of £11.2 million and an IAS19 pensions non-cash charge of £0.9 million.
STV confirmed an interim dividend of 6p per share and is proposing a full year dividend payment of 20p per share, up 18% year on year.