Pitts declares progress
World Cup helps STV record strongest viewing
Simon Pitts: ‘excellent progress’
STV’s revenues have risen on the back of the strongest viewing figures for almost a decade, it said today.
Advertising income for the first half was 6% higher, fuelled by the World Cup, drama box sets and soap operas, and the company has raised its dividend to shareholders.
The company said its share of viewing at 18.7% was its strongest since 2009, 13% up on last year and 10% higher than ITV. Online viewing on STV Player was 73% higher, with live simulcast up 68%
Simon Pitts, chief executive, 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.”
Margaret Ford, Chairman, said: “The board is very pleased with the early progress made in implementing the recently launched strategic plan.
“Together with strong trading in the first half of the year, we feel confident in recommending an increase in the interim dividend to 6 pence per share.”
Highlights (six months to 30 June)
· Total revenue up 6% reflecting good growth across all divisions – Broadcast, Digital and Production
· Operating profit pre-exceptionals up 9%
· Total advertising revenue up 6% across national, regional and digital
· Broadcast revenue up 4%
· Digital revenue up 24%, including VOD revenue up 61%
· STV Productions’ revenues up 42%, reflecting increased programme deliveries
· £2m cost savings target to fund new investments on track; STV2 closed on 30 June as planned and licences sold
· Interim dividend of 6 pence per share confirmed and full year dividend payment of 20 pence per share proposed, up 18% year on year