Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fairfax NZ first-half earnings hold up even as revenue slips

Fairfax NZ first-half earnings hold up even as revenue slips

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Fairfax Media Group’s New Zealand unit, which includes the Dominion Post, Press and Sunday Star Times newspapers, kept its first-half earnings reasonably flat as recent cost-cutting measures offset weaker circulation revenues.

New Zealand earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation slipped 0.8 percent to $42.3 million in the six months ended Dec. 29 from the same period a year earlier, the Sydney-based parent company said in a statement. Revenue shrank 7.7 percent to $206.9 million, with a 5.9 percent decline in advertising sales to $140.5 million and an 8.7 percent drop in circulation revenue to $59.2 million.

In Australian dollar terms, the New Zealand unit lifted revenue 4.6 percent to A$182.2 million and EBITDA 10 percent to A$37.3 million.

“In the New Zealand business, weak retail sales have affected the performance of circulation,” the company said in its report. “The advertising market remained stable, (local) government elections and the auto and property markets boosted the results against softer categories. Savings in staff expenses offset the decline in revenue.”

The New Zealand unit was the middle of the pack for the wider group, whose Australian metropolitan segment boosted earnings 52 percent to A$81.5 million on a 9.8 percent fall in sales to A$428.6 million. The Australian community media unit’s earnings dropped 22 percent to A$82.5 million on an 18 percent slide in revenue to A$305.5 million, and the radio segment posted a 9.9 percent decline in EBITDA to A$9.2 million on a 1.1 percent decrease in sales to A$54.5 million.

Stripping out one-off items including assets sales, Fairfax’s underlying profit from continuing operations climbed 49 percent to A$86.4 million. Net profit dropped to A$193.8 million, or 8.2 cents per share, in six months ended Dec. 29, from A$386.3 million, or 16.4 cents, a year earlier. The 2013 result was bolstered by one-off proceeds from the sale of Fairfax’s stake in New Zealand online auction site Trade Me.

“We have shown a determination to transform the business through cost reductions and driving new revenue streams,” chief executive Greg Hywood said. “We have made decisions to balance revenue and cost with a focus on growing profits on a sustainable basis.”

Revenue was down 3 percent in the first five weeks of the second half from a year earlier, a slower decline than the 5.5 percent drop in the previous year.

Fairfax finished the year with net cash of A$80 million from net debt of A$154 million a year earlier, and boosted operational cash flow to A$90.6 million from A$69.4 million.

The ASX-listed shares last traded at 71.5 Australian cents, and have gained 12 percent this year.

The board declared an interim fully-franked dividend of 2 Australian cents per share, payable on March 19 with a record date of March 5.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news