STV signals strong start to year as digital jumps

STV is experiencing a rise in airtime revenues. Picture: Robert Perry
STV is experiencing a rise in airtime revenues. Picture: Robert Perry
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Broadcasting and media group STV said it was continuing to grow its market share following a “strong start” to the current financial year.

In an update coinciding with the group’s annual meeting in Glasgow, chief executive Rob Woodward said national advertising revenues were up 9 per cent in the first quarter. However, there was a 13 per cent dip in the Scottish advertising market which was blamed on “campaign phasing”.

Total airtime revenues to the end of May are expected to rise by 3 per cent, driven by a 5 per cent increase in national revenues. Regional revenues are forecast to fall by 11 per cent, though this would be an improvement on the same period last year.

Woodward said: “Through the STV family of consumer services we are successfully growing market share whilst continuing to enhance the service we offer to our advertisers. During the period we confirmed that we have been awarded three further licences to deliver locally-focused television services in Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee, all of which will enable further growth of our portfolio and enhanced consumer engagement.”

Digital revenues continued to perform strongly, up 33 per cent during the first quarter.

The increase for the period to the end of May is forecast at 40 per cent.

Woodward said the group’s production arm was continuing to build “a strong pipeline” across various genres. It makes in-house programmes as well as shows for other broadcasters such as BBC and ITV.

In its full-year results released in February, STV announced a 14 per cent rise in profits to 
£17.3 million.

Analysts at Edison yesterday noted: “STV is successfully leveraging its brand across new local and digital services.”