STV is likely to bid for a licence to broadcast as part of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s radical shake-up of local television.
STV chief executive Rob Woodward said he is “excited” by the plans and told City A.M. he “wouldn’t be surprised” if a bid was made, adding he is in talks with the department of culture, media and sport.
The channel yesterday announced it has more than doubled its pre-tax profit from £6m to £13m as the advertising market continued to recover. Operating profit grew 57 per cent to £14m.
TV revenues increased 16 per cent year-on-year and Woodward expects advertising to grow a further six per cent in the first quarter of 2011.
The news sent STV shares surging 15 per cent, with Woodward saying he sees no signs of an advertising relapse.
He said: “This is a strong set of results. The most positive part is that we are now delivering growth across all parts of the business.
“Digital has been especially encouraging and we have already beaten the usage metric set for 2012 so we are going to upgrade our forecasts. This confirms the rebound – the positive momentum is continuing and we see no signs of a slowdown.”
Overall revenue at STV increased from £110m to £112m, with debt also increasing from £49m to £52m.