STV revenue falls to £138m, but profit up to £22m

Glasgow-based media firm STV Group plc said its 2022 revenue fell 5% to £137.8 million “as a result of marginally lower TAR (total advertising revenue) and timing of production deliveries.”

Profit before tax rose 11% to £22.2 million.

STV’s full year dividend will be 11.3p per share, up 3% on 2021.

STV Group CEO Simon Pitts said: “2022 was another year of growth for STV where we delivered increased operating profit beyond our record performance in 2021 while continuing to support our people, partners and communities.

“Our diversification strategy, focused on driving growth in digital streaming and content production, continues to accelerate, with digital profit up 9% and Studios profit up 6%.

“Nearly 40% of STV’s earnings now come from these new growth areas as we reduce our reliance on traditional television and create a vibrant, future-facing media business.

“Our audience position remains unrivalled, with STV being Scotland’s most popular peaktime TV channel for the 4th year in a row and our viewing share the highest since 2009.

“Streaming service STV Player had another record year, delivering growth against all key metrics and surpassing our target of 5m registered users in early 2023, one year early.

“Our enhanced long-term partnership with ITV will propel the next phase of our streaming growth, guaranteeing exclusive access to 100+ hours of new, original UK content every year and complementing our extensive acquired content offering.

“STV Studios is scaling rapidly and profitably, winning a record 30 new commissions in 2022 and already securing over £50m in revenue for 2023.

“This will be a breakthrough year as we deliver 3 major new dramas for Apple, BBC and C4 and make meaningful progress towards our goal of becoming the UK’s leading nations & regions production company.

“The advertising market showed further resilience in 2022 with STV total advertising revenues finishing only 2% down on our record 2021 performance.

“As expected, given the uncertain economic climate and strong 2022 comparator, STV’s Q1 2023 total advertising is down by around 15%, though digital VOD advertising on STV Player is expected to be up around 20% and Scottish SME spend – excluding Scottish Government spend – also expected to be flat to slightly up, offering some encouragement for 2023.

“Our advertising performance should also be bolstered by a very strong content line-up which includes exclusive coverage of the men’s Rugby World Cup starting in September.”