Surging STV poised to bring back dividend

Andrea Brymer of STV News. Picture: Contributed
Andrea Brymer of STV News. Picture: Contributed
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STV chief Rob Woodward is expected to confirm this week that the broadcaster is resuming dividends after a seven-year hiatus as it benefits from a surge in work at its production arm.

Shareholders could be in line for a final dividend of 1.5p a share – their first payout since 2006 – and the group is tipped to have beaten its target of getting net debt below two times underlying earnings.

Analysts predict that the Glasgow-based maker of shows such as ITV’s Catchphrase and long-running BBC series Antiques Road Trip will deliver annual pre-tax profits of £15 million on Thursday, up from £14.4m in 2012.

Shares in STV have more than doubled in the past year and Numis analyst Paul Richards said it “continues to make strong progress in its digital and productions businesses”.

The firm’s most recent commission is ITV home video show Let Me Entertain You.