Meet the CEO: Simon Pitts, STV


Simon Pitts, CEO of STV Group, speaks to Simon French, Panmure Gordon’s Chief Economist, about the company’s strategy, acquisitions and KPIs. The questions are below with timestamps.

Q1 and introduction: What is STV and what is it trying to achieve? (0:00)

Q2: The company’s results are coming at the start of the second quarter. What are the key performance metrics that investors should use to assess the success of STV? (1:53)

Q3: Is that the long-term target? (3:42)

Q4: The share price is up 20% since the general election. Investors are looking at UK-centric businesses and want to be exposed to the pickup from political certainty. Is that something you’ve seen with people commissioning advertising budgets since the general election? (4:26)

Q5: Your acquisition strategy with a stake in Two Cities comes across positively and is a vote of confidence in the production business. Can you talk about the integration and how the acquisition strategy is evolving? (5:48)

Q6: I get a sense you initially screen what’s a suitable acquisition starting with the people rather than the financials. Is that correct? (8:04)

Q7: Is this the end of the acquisitive phase? (9:44)

Q8: Who are the key commissioning customers of STV? (10:08)

Q9: Can we talk about your commercial relationship with ITV – it’s a shared service which insulates you from volatility. Can you flesh that out? (12.:17)

Q10: How have you positioned STV’s digital proposition? (14:42)

Q11: What are the KPIs for the digital business? (16:38)

Q12: Does the board have an active strategy for managing the company’s pension deficit? (18:44)

Q13: You reduced the gearing of the company to an expectation of 1x net debt EBITDA by the end of next year. Is that the ideal gearing for the company? (20:12)

Q14: We hear how disruptive the media industry is, and the risks of the industry. In such a disruptive industry what are the opportunities that are under reported? (21:26)

Q15: What are the aspects of your business that investors and the market don’t understand that you’d like to tell them? (24:33)

Simon French

Managing Director, Head of Research