The effect of substrate temperature and oxygen pressure on the microstructure, magnetic and magneto-optical properties of Sr ferrite (SrM) films grown on (001) single-crystal sapphire substrates by pulsed laser deposition has been investigated. Polycrystalline SrM films with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy could be prepared under a wide range of oxygen pressures and relatively high temperatures, sufficient to crystallise the material. However, an almost exclusive c-axis orientation normal to the film plane could be attained only at a narrow operational window centered at 0.1 mbar and 840°C. The magneto-optical properties of the films were comparable to those of the bulk barium hexaferrite single-crystal material. In addition, results obtained by atomic force microscopy provide convincing evidence that the growth of Sr ferrite on sapphire takes place by a spiral growth mechanism.