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Advertising revenue recovers in the first quarter of 2018 after a difficult 2017

The next key catalyst for Scottish broadcaster STV (STVG) is likely to be a second quarter update on a strategic review being conducted by new chief executive Simon Pitts.

That’s unless speculation proves accurate that ITV (ITV) is going to make a takeover bid for the small cap.

STV’s 2017 results showed national airtime revenues, which the company earns from advertising on the ITV network, down 7% at £74.3m. Regional airtime revenues fell 2% due to the deferral of several campaigns.

Regional and national advertising have bounced back in the first quarter of 2018 and should be further supported by the FIFA World Cup this summer.

Pitts would not be drawn on the future of STV2, an amalgamation of the company’s city-based channels, which posted an unchanged annual loss of £0.8m last year.

He is positive about the outlook for the production business despite revenue down 20% to £10.4m thanks to lower commissions – pointing to the upcoming Edinburgh-set The Victim drama series it is producing for the BBC.

The company’s confidence was reflected in a 13% increase in the full year dividend to 17p. Its share price has risen by 10.8% to 360p so far this year. (TS)

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