STV issues AGM statement saying ‘on track’ to deliver long-term strategic aims

SHAREHOLDERS in STV will be told this morning, at the company’s annual general meeting, that the broadcaster and digital media business remains ‘on track to deliver long-term strategic aims’.

Says a statement issued ahead of the 11am meeting: “As stated at our annual results in February, we have made a positive start to 2013 and we remain on track to deliver our long-term strategic aims. During the period, airtime trading, growth in the digital and productions business, and performance against our KPI [key performance indicator] targets are in line with the board’s expectations for the current financial year.

“In January, the award of the new local TV licences to STV to provide services to Glasgow and Edinburgh was announced. These new services will reach over 50 per cent of the Scottish population and will support the continued strengthening of the portfolio of services we offer to our audiences and consumers. The services will be delivered through an innovative partnership with leading universities: Glasgow Caledonian University and Edinburgh Napier University.

“The consultation process by Ofcom on the renewal of the Channel 3 licences is currently ongoing and STV is engaged with the regulator [Ofcom] on this as we seek to secure an early decision on the renewal of our licences.

“The group’s bank syndicate has also confirmed the extension of the current bank facilities to 31 March 2016 subject only to the extension of the Channel 3 Licences.

“STV’s airtime revenues in Q1 have performed in line with our February trading update, up three per cent in total. We expect STV’s total airtime revenues in April to be down four per cent. Early indications for May are for STV’s total airtime revenues to be down per cent, year on year. This results in January to May airtime revenues being up two per cent and we continue to expect a broadly flat airtime market for the full year.

“Digital revenues in the growth categories of VOD and classified advertising were in line with expectations in Q1 and are expected to be up 20 per cent for the period from January to May inclusive.”

Rob Woodward, chief executive officer of STV Group plc, is quoted, as saying: “Growth momentum continues across all areas of our business as we successfully develop new consumer services and growth in STV Productions. During Q1 we have achieved sustained growth in our digital services, with double-digit growth in digital revenues, building on the success delivered in 2012. STV Productions has continued to announce new commissions in the period and continues to build a strong pipeline of commissions and prospects for future growth. We are delighted about the very strong ratings being achieved by Catchphrase, our latest commission from ITV.”