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 Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news