STV Posts Increase in Profits

Glasgow broadcasters, STV, has registered improved profits and turnover, compared to this time last year – according to interim financial results issued this morning.

For the STV part of STV Group plc, turnover for the six months upto the end of June was £50 million (up 20 per cent on this time last year, when it was £42 million) feeding into an operating profit of £7 million, up from £3 million previously. While STV includes the likes of STV Productions, STV Group plc included cinema advertisers, Pearl & Dean, which was disposed of in May.

Regarding STV Group plc, its pre-tax profit for the first half of this year was £6 million, up from £1 million 12 months ago. But while turnover was also up – from £49 million to £57 million – so too was net debt, from £56 million last year, to £61 million now. These pre-tax and turnover figures excluded so-called 'exceptional items' surrounding the disposal of Pearl & Dean. The net debt, meanwhile, is expected to be 'normalised', once a loan due to STV is paid back (again related to the disposal of Pearl & Dean) and once payment for TV content already made starting flowing in.

In a company statement, the group said: “STV has delivered a strong set of results for the first half as airtime market recovery, digital strategy growth and restructuring of the business feed through to benefit core financials. The significant upturn in airtime revenue combined with continuing cost controls has contributed to an improved performance combined with a strong uplift in broadcasting margins. 

“Performance growth in all other areas of the business is being delivered and the strong trading position has enabled accelerated investment in key areas including High Definition services and digital initiatives including [the network of community websites] STV Local.”

Said chair, Richard Findlay: “These results indicate the growing power of the new STV. At the heart of the business is first class creative content delivered to different audiences across multiple platforms. 

“We have a clear strategy that is attracting audiences to our increasing range of platforms. Our investment in STV Local highlights our commitment to digital innovation and we are excited about the opportunity this network will create to continue to enhance the level of local media STV provides to our audiences. STV is a growth business.”

Added chief executive, Rob Woodward: “We have made great strides in our business over the last six months. We have continued to enhance our creative talent and invest in digital skills. We have a strong line up of programmes for the remainder of the year and we continue to execute innovative deals with industry leaders to grow our business in line with our growth strategy. However, whilst there is an improvement in the market, we nevertheless remain cautious about the future macro economic climate.”