Overall revenues up 1% though broadcaster warns broadcast revenues will be impacted by advertising slowdown
Broadcaster STV Group has reported an overall improvement in first half results.
Revenues rose by one per cent in the six months to June 30 compared with last year to £47.6 million and pre-tax profits rose eight per cent to £7 million.
Across the group, production and digital revenues are up 13 per cent on the same period a year ago to £3 million, with customer registrations up by eight per cent in June alone and by 50 per cent in the first half of the year.
STV has also secured commissions from BB2 for 20 episodes of a daytime celebrity cooking show as well as a new drama commission for ITV.
The group has also reduced its net debt by three per cent to £55.9 million, though the group pension deficit remains unchanged at £23 million.
Glasgow-based STV announced in January it had renewed a £70 million loan facility with three lenders which saw its interest rate double to more than £2 million a year, which it said "reflects the increased cost of capital".
In first half results posted today, STV revealed overall financing costs, including costs related to its pension scheme, rose to £1.2 million against £0.7 million at the same point last year.
STV said today it has made bids in partnership with leading Scottish universities to secure local television licences for Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Chief executive Rob Woodward said: “We are continuing to deliver growth in the non-broadcast areas of our business with a 13 per cent increase in revenues in these activities.
“The strong financial performance delivered in the period demonstrates the underlying strength of our business and we are successfully extending our reach and engaging with new consumers across an increased range of platforms.
“Today’s announcement of another new BBC series commission for STV Productions demonstrates the growth momentum in that business.”
STV said it remains “cautious” in its outlook for broadcast media, “given continuing macro-economic uncertainty and the effect on the TV advertising market.
Adding: “We expect our national advertising revenues to perform broadly in line with the ITV Network for the year as a whole.”
The group said national airtime revenue fell by one per cent in July, and expects that will drop by six per cent in August and down by two per cent in September.
And in regional broadcasting, STV expects revenues will be down 12 per cent in the third quarter of this year, though predicts full year figures will show growth of four per cent overall.
The growth in digital revenues is put down to more than 60 per cent of the broadcast audience now accessing STV content online, with access from mobile devices continuing to “grow rapidly”.
STV launched the first of its local metro sites in Glasgow and Edinburgh in April, and reports those are now reaching 400,000 unique users per month.
And a new platform, STV Anywhere, has been chosen as a content partner for YouView when that platform launches in September.