- Scottish free-to-air broadcaster STV reported a 35% increase in revenue for the six months to 30 June 2021 as it swung from a £4.9 million loss to a £8.5 million pre-tax profit.

The company upped its dividend by 23% to 3.7p per share with net debt falling 47% to £17.6 million.

Separately the company announced the acquisition of Brighton-based production company Hello Mary.

STV reported a continued recovery in Total Advertising Revenue up 32% in the first half and expected to be up between 25% and 30% for the nine months to the end of September.

It also maintained record audience growth of 5% and 66% for STV and STV Player and reported that STV-controlled advertising continued to outperform the wider market, with video on demand (VOD) advertising on the STV Player +62% (2019: +83%) and regional advertising revenues +27% (2019: +4%) in H1.

Simon Pitts, CEO, said: 'Ahead of expectations, STV has returned to pre-pandemic levels of growth and profitability, thanks to the strength of our programming, the success of our diversification strategy, and the commitment and creativity of our people.'

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