STV Group is set for a record year with total advertising revenue (TAR) expected to increase by a fifth in the year to the end of this month – more than 10% up on its figure for 2019.

The broadcaster said it expected regional advertising to finish this financial year strongly, up by around 20% – despite a drop of 5% when the pandemic was at its height in 2020 – and 15% ahead of 2019.

Video on demand (VOD) advertising on its STV Player is expected to be up by between 35% and 40% for the full year, more than 50% ahead of 2019.

STV delivered a nine-month TAR of 28% and a Q3 figure of 22%, with regional advertising up 13% in Q3 and VOD advertising in the same quarter 44%.

It said advertising for Q4 has shown continued good momentum, despite strong comparators from Q4 2020, and is expected to deliver TAR growth of 13-15%, regional advertising up a further 15-20% and VOD up around 10%.

Within that October TAR was up 5%, November 20% and December is expected to be up 5-10%.

The broadcaster also announced that its STV Growth Fund is to be increased from £20 million to £30m next year.

Since the fund launched in 2018, it has allocated £15.7m across more than 700 deals with Scottish small and medium enterprises (SMEs), attracting more than 300 new advertisers to television.

Previous guidance that STV Studios is on track for its best recorded financial performance in 2021, with full year revenue of £20-25m, has been reconfirmed.

Simon Pitts, STV chief executive, said: “The speed and scale of the advertising recovery in 2021 has far exceeded our expectations and underlines the enduring power and relevance of high-quality video advertising.

“2021 will deliver STV’s highest ever advertising revenues, with brands choosing broadcast and video on demand advertising to boost their post-Covid recovery due to its unrivalled levels of trust, brand safety and value.

“I’m very proud that our STV Growth Fund has now enabled over 300 Scottish SMEs to access TV advertising for the first time, including around 150 since the start of the pandemic. I’m delighted to announce that the fund will be increased to £30m in 2022 to help drive Scotland’s economic recovery.”