STV first-half revenue rises 3% to £62m

Shares of Glasgow-based media firm STV Group plc rose about 5% on Tuesday after it said its first-half revenue rose 3% to £62.1 million, profit before tax rose 25% to £10.6 million, and dividend per share rose 5% to 3.9p.

STV CEO Simon Pitts said: “STV has had a strong first half of the year, with revenue and profit up on our record performance in 2021.

“Our strategy of creating a more diversified business through a relentless focus on production growth, digital streaming and local advertising continues to deliver, with STV Studios revenue up 16%, VOD advertising on STV Player up 16% and regional advertising up 11%.

“STV Studios is accelerating rapidly, winning a record 25 new commissions so far this year from a range of networks and global streamers as we aim to become the UK’s no.1 nations and regions producer.

“We’re currently in production on over 20 new series, including our major new drama for Apple, Criminal Record, which will debut next year in over 100 countries, and two further premium dramas Blue Lights for BBC1 and Screw series 2 for C4.

“Our audience position is strong on TV and online, with STV’s daily, weekly, and monthly reach in H1 higher than all subscription streaming services combined.

“STV remains the most popular peak time TV channel in Scotland for the 4th year in a row, boosted by dramas like Trigger Point and Our House, and active users on STV Player were up 7% in H1 despite tough comparators in the first half of last year with a lockdown and the Euros football.

“Our free streaming service STV Player is well positioned to meet the needs of a more cost-conscious audience, with content hours increasing to over 5500, including a further doubling of premium drama hours to 2000+ across more than 150 free boxsets.

The advertising market is clearly not going to be immune from the ongoing economic uncertainty, with total advertising up 4% in H1 and forecast to be slightly down for the 9 months to September, but we are expecting a stronger Q4, boosted by the first ever winter football World Cup.”