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Canwest Lifts 1st Quarter Performance By 26%

MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday, 9 December 2004

Canwest Mediaworks (NZ) Lifts 1st Quarter Performance By 26% - TV Up By 44%

CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) has seen a 26% improvement in its first quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) compared with the same period last year.

The September to November 2004 quarter saw a $26.4 million dollar EBITDA, up from a pro forma* $20.9 million in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

Consolidated revenues for the group were up 10% to $70.2 million for the quarter, up from $63.8 in the same quarter last year.

"This is a very pleasing trend in the right direction, and is a reflection of a strong economy and both our television and radio businesses achieving excellent continued efficiencies," said CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Chairman, Tom Strike.

The company's television business (TVWorks) has seen a 44% EBITDA improvement in the first quarter this year to $17.5 million, compared with $12.2 million in the same quarter last year.

Chief Executive Officer Brent Impey said he was particularly pleased with television's continuing improved performance.

"A five million dollar EBITDA improvement in a single quarter, off an already strengthened economy, is an excellent result and is a reflection of a very consistent audience share for TV3, and the continued improved financial performance of C4," Mr Impey said.

"In our TV3 target audience (18-49) the three main free-to-air channels in New Zealand are now evening out at a consistent audience share in the mid 20's.

"The trend looks even more positive for TV3 with our own share holding very stable, and the two main competing channels trending downward," said Mr Impey.

"Our local hit comedy bro'Town, plus hit shows such as CSI: Miami, Monday night movies and the final season of Sex and the City have been ratings highlights for TV3.

"The excellent performance of bro'Town is a credit to the production team, and is the most successful local entertainment show in TV3's 15 year history."

"C4 continues to make a modest profit, with a $285,000 EBITDA for the quarter, and that compares well with a loss in the same quarter last year," he said.

Mr Impey said RadioWorks continues to significantly improve its revenue position and EBITDA performance.

EBITDA for RadioWorks is up 9% for the quarter to $9.5 million, up from $8.7 million in the same quarter last year.

"A nine per cent EBITDA improvement for the quarter, is a reflection of the strong, consistent growth radio has been producing now for a long time," he said.

"Looking forward, our projections for the year remain solid, and provided the economy remains strong, we are tracking to exceed our projected total EBITDA of $61.085 million," Mr Impey said.

However Mr Impey noted the first quarter is traditionally a key driver for the business, and EBITDA performance is unlikely to grow at quarter one levels throughout the rest of the financial year.

* NB all last year financial comparatives are of a pro forma nature, being a combination of TVWorks and RadioWorks, as the listed company CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) is a new entity.

--- ENDS ---

Reminder: The annual meeting of CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) will be held tomorrow (Friday, 10 December) at the West Lounge, Eden Park at 10.00am. Entry is via Gate 26 from the Reimers Ave car park.


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