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Canwest Mediaworks Reports Strong EBITDA Result

For immediate release
Monday, 17 October 2005


Canwest Mediaworks Reports Strong 2005 EBITDA Result

EBITDA Up 11% On 9% Revenue Rise

2.3 Cents Per Share Final Dividend To Be Paid 10 November 2005


Auckland: CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited today announced that Group EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxation, depreciation and amortisation) was $67.8 million for its financial year ended 31 August 2005, an increase of $6.9 million or 11% over pro forma EBITDA reported in its previous financial year*.

Group revenue for the 2005 financial year was $250.3 million, an increase of $22 million or 9% over Group revenue for the previous financial year*.

Highlights of CanWest MediaWorks financial results for its 2005 financial year are:

Group Revenue $250.3 million up 9% on 2004*
RadioWorks Revenue $107.9 million up 6% on 2004*
TVWorks Revenue $142.4 million up 12% on 2004*

Group EBITDA $67.8 million up 11% on 2004*
RadioWorks EBITDA $33.8 million up 4% on 2004*
TVWorks EBITDA $36.6 million up 26% on 2004*
Corporate Costs $ 2.6 million

Group EBITDA $67.8 million up 11% on Prospectus Forecast
Net profit (after income tax) $13.1 million up 89% on Prospectus Forecast

The Company’s directors have approved a final dividend of 2.3 cents per share to be paid for the 2005 fiscal year. The dividend will be paid on 10 November 2005 to shareholders of record as at 28 October 2005, and will carry full imputation credits. Combined with the interim dividend of 4.0 cents per share paid in May 2005, the full dividend for the fiscal 2005 year is 6.3 cents per share.

“These are excellent financial results for both our radio and television operations. The Company is performing very well indeed,” said CanWest MediaWorks’ Chair of the Board, Tom Strike.

“To have delivered such strong EBITDA results while bearing the costs associated with the launch of TV3’s Campbell Live and RadioWorks’ new nationwide network – Radio Live – is all the more pleasing,” he continued. “Both of these initiatives are important long-term strategies for the Company, and each has enjoyed a very strong launch into the market, both in terms of audience response and revenue generation.”

TVWorks

TVWorks, which operates the TV3 and C4 television networks, enjoyed an outstanding year.

“A 26% improvement in EBITDA has been an impressive achievement, and both channels have gone from strength to strength,” said CanWest MediaWorks CEO, Brent Impey. “C4 is now making a positive EBITDA contribution, and that has been a significant turning point for the channel in this past financial year.”

TV3’s widely reported ratings success has been a very pleasing trend to observe. “In the last week of our 2005 financial year, TV3 was the number one channel in the country for the key target audiences of all 18-49 year olds, 25-54 year olds and Household Shoppers with Children. This is an important milestone in the channel’s history,” Mr Impey said.

TV3’s programming across its entire schedule is performing very well. 3 News has had a dramatic 12% lift in its target audience share in the last quarter of the 2005 financial year, compared with the same quarter in 2004. It is now the most watched television news programme in New Zealand amongst 18-49 year olds in the five main urban centres. Campbell Live launched solidly and is also winning the urban audience battle in current affairs amongst its target audience.

Local programming had an excellent year with hit show bro’Town and new drama Outrageous Fortune both attracting strong audience numbers. Documentary series Inside New Zealand and consumer show Target have each shown consistency in strong audience appeal.

International shows such as the CSI suite of programmes, Survivor, Law and Order, Medical Investigation, Kath & Kim, That ‘70’s Show, Rockstar: INXS, House, Numb3rs and Rove have all performed very well for TV3.

RadioWorks

“The last 12 months have been a key period of strategic development for RadioWorks,” said Mr Impey.

“Launching our contemporary news and talk format network, Radio Live, has been a significant undertaking. For the first time ever in New Zealand a new radio network was rolled out nationally on one day, and early audience feedback has been extremely positive,” Mr Impey said. “Radio Live is a key development strategy for the Company, however we are looking towards long-term growth for this new brand, rather than only short-term gains.”

The other major radio development has been the re-branding of 16 local stations under the More FM brand. “There are now 21 More FM stations throughout New Zealand, and having a national marketing and promotional strength behind all of these stations creates greater efficiency for the individual stations,” said Mr Impey.

“Despite these substantial new initiatives, RadioWorks has still achieved an improved EBITDA, confirming the underlying strength of the business,” he continued.

All of RadioWorks’ other brands – The Edge, The Rock, Solid Gold, The Breeze, Kiwi FM and Radio Pacific/Radio Trackside – continued to perform solidly in their respective target markets during the 2005 financial year.

Outlook

“We believe that improved audience ratings for TV3 and C4 should more than offset any softening in the television advertising market in the first quarter of F2006. TV3 has, for strategic reasons, decided to increase its programming spend for the first quarter. This will have an impact on EBITDA for the quarter relative to the corresponding quarter last year but should not impact the annual position,” said Mr Impey.

ENDS


CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited (NZX: MWL) (website: www.mediaworks.co.nz) 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/Radio Trackside, Solid Gold and The Breeze, plus several local radio stations.

CanWest MediaWorks NZ is a majority owned subsidiary 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, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

* CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited acquired RadioWorks and TVWorks at the end of July 2004 as part of a corporate restructuring. The comparative revenue and EBITDA results for the 12 months to 31 August 2004 are therefore disclosed on a pro-forma basis to reflect the combined results of CanWest RadioWorks Limited and CanWest TVWorks Limited.


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* CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited acquired RadioWorks and TVWorks at the end of July 2004 as part of a corporate restructuring. The comparative revenue and EBITDA results for the 12 months to 31 August 2004 are therefore disclosed on a pro-forma basis to reflect the combined results of CanWest RadioWorks Limited and CanWest TVWorks Limited. Due to the impact of the group restructuring on the consolidated Balance Sheet, it is not relevant to disclose prior period comparatives for items such as the amortisation of goodwill, interest expense or income tax.

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