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Canwest Mediaworks Ebidta Up 12% For First Half

Media Release

For immediate release
Monday, 4 April 2005

Canwest Mediaworks Ebidta Up 12% For First Half Of Year
Four cents per share interim dividend to be paid 16 May 2005

AUCKLAND -- CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) today reported its financial results for the six month period ended February 28, 2005. Earnings before interest, income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $37.9 million, an increase of 12% from the pro forma result for the corresponding period in the previous year. *

Group revenue for the period increased by 8% to $124.6 million, compared to pro forma revenue of $115 million in the same period last year. *

The Company’s Directors have approved an interim dividend of four cents per share to be paid for the six month period ended 28 February 2005. The dividend will be paid on 16 May to shareholders of record as at 6 May, and will carry full imputation credits.

“We are very satisfied with the financial performance of the Company and despite the competitive environment in which we operate, all of our radio and television brands are performing very well,” said CanWest MediaWorks’ Chair, Tom Strike.

TVWorks experienced an impressive 27% growth in EBITDA to $20.2 million for the first half of the financial year, compared with last year’s pro forma results.

“A first half $3.6 million EBITDA improvement for TVWorks, to $20.2 million, including a positive EBITDA contribution from C4, confirms the strength of the Company’s television business,” said CanWest MediaWorks CEO, Brent Impey.

RadioWorks also recorded a significant EBITDA gain with a 7% increase to $19.0 million for the six months ended February 28, compared with pro forma EBITDA of $17.8 million for the same period in 2004.

“Our radio and television brands have continued to benefit from their excellent audience profiles in the market, and a sustained strong New Zealand economy,” said Mr Impey.

RadioWorks completed a number of strategic initiatives during the first half of the year.

These included the re-branding of 15 local stations to More FM, thereby strengthening the national brand profile of More FM; the launch of Kiwi FM, playing 100% New Zealand music, into Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch; the re-branding of several local stations to The Breeze’s easy listening format, and the acquisition of FM frequencies in Coromandel and Gisborne.

“The launch next week of the Company’s brand-new radio network, Radio Live, will be a significant initiative for us, with a new and contemporary approach to news and talk radio. Radio Live will also diversify our radio format range across a broader spectrum, and thereby open up new audience and revenue streams,” Mr Impey said.

For TVWorks the launch of Campbell Live, TV3’s new weeknight current affairs programme, has been the most significant initiative.

The show has exceeded expectations and has performed particularly strongly in metropolitan markets. Since its launch and up until late last week the programme had averaged a 28% share of the metropolitan 18-49 year old audience – ahead of its current affairs competitors.

The launch of Campbell Live was preceded by the re-launch of 3 News with new presenters Mike McRoberts and Hilary Barry.

3 News audience numbers have benefited from its re-launch, and the additional profile Campbell Live has created for the network. From 21 March until 1 April 3 News has averaged a 30% audience share of all 18-49 year old viewers, a 20% lift in share compared with February 2005.

“To have such a strong launch for Campbell Live, and at the same time strengthen our audience share for 3 News is a very pleasing start, but we are certainly not complacent about the competitive market we are participating in,” Mr Impey said.

“Sunday nights continue to be a big ratings success for TV3, with Kath & Kim, Everybody Loves Raymond, CSI and Criminal Intent consistently winning the night in TV3’s target 18-49 year old demographic.

“C4 continues to go from strength to strength, and even more pleasing is the positive EBITDA result achieved in the first half of this financial year. In January, C4 had its first full scale outside broadcast from Auckland’s Big Day Out, to very good audience ratings,” he said.

Mr Impey said it was important the satisfying first half result is taken in the context of the first half of the fiscal year traditionally performing more strongly than the second half, in the broadcasting industry, but that the Company was on track to meet or exceed previously stated projections.

ENDS

* CanWest MediaWorks acquired RadioWorks and TVWorks at the end of July 2004 as part of a corporate restructuring. Comparative pro forma information for the period 1 September 2003 to 28 February 2004 is based upon the combined financial results of CanWest RadioWorks Limited and CanWest TVWorks Limited.

CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited (NZX: MWL) is New Zealand’s leading private sector broadcast media company. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries CanWest TVWorks Limited and CanWest RadioWorks Limited, it owns and operates the TV3 and C4 television networks, national radio brands The Edge, The Rock, More FM, Kiwi FM, Radio Live, Radio Pacific, Solid Gold and The Breeze, plus several local radio stations.

CanWest MediaWorks NZ is a majority owned subsidiary of CanWest MediaWorks International, a division of CanWest Global Communications Corp. (TSX: CGS.SV; CGS.NV, NYSE: CWG). CanWest, an international media company, is Canada’s largest publisher of daily newspapers, and also owns, operates and/or holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home advertising, specialty cable channels, Web sites and radio networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.

ENDS

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