Canwest Mediaworks Reports Strong Trading Results
Friday, 9 December 2005
Canwest Mediaworks Reports Strong Trading Results For Its First Quarter
Revenues increase 4% in quarter; EBITDA of $23.5 million
Auckland: CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited today announced its financial results for the first quarter of its 2006 financial year. Consolidated revenues for the three months ended 30 November 2005 increased by 4% to $72.8 million over consolidated revenues for the corresponding quarter in the 2005 financial year. EBITDA for the quarter was $23.5 million, which, while an 11% decrease from the first quarter last year, was a planned reduction due to certain programming decisions taken by TVWorks.
“TVWorks made a conscious decision to play more local programming on TV3 in the quarter compared with the corresponding quarter last year. Investment in initiatives such as Campbell Live and Radio Live, important long-term strategies for the Company, also contributed to the increase in the cost of programming,” said Tom Strike, the Company’s Chair of the Board. “We foreshadowed this increase in costs when we announced our 2005 annual results in October. However, assuming current market conditions prevail, we fully expect that over the next three quarters of our financial year, these increased costs will be offset by lower programming costs in subsequent quarters, and that the Company will finish the financial year with an EBITDA improvement over its 2005 financial year.”
Brent Impey, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, said both radio and television enjoyed strong trading quarters.
“TVWorks’ revenue was up 4% for the quarter to $44.0 million, while RadioWorks’ revenue climbed 3% to $28.8 million,” he said.
TV3 continued to enjoy very strong ratings performance during its first quarter, with 3 News continuing to perform exceptionally well in TV3’s target audience of 18-49 year olds, not only in the key metro markets but also right across the country.
At the Qantas Television Awards in November, TVWorks achieved extremely good results, with 3 News winning best news programme, 60 Minutes winning best current affairs programme, and Campbell Live winning investigation of the year. Local drama Outrageous Fortune collected five major awards including best drama, and hit comedy bro’Town won best comedy.
“RadioWorks also enjoyed a strong trading quarter. We were extremely pleased with the results of the latest radio audience survey,” said Mr Impey. “The Edge was the most listened to music station in New Zealand, The Rock enjoyed good growth to make it a very clear number one with its target audience, and Radio Live made a much better than expected debut, achieving a weekly cumulative audience of 116,000 listeners.”
“We remain positive about the outlook for the remainder of the financial year. We expect that improved audience ratings for both TV3 and C4 and across our major radio brands will act as strong buffers against any economic softening which may occur,” he concluded.
This news release contains certain comments or forward looking statements that are based largely upon the Company’s current expectations and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties. These factors could cause actual future performance to vary materially from current expectations.
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) (website: www.canwestglobal.com). CanWest Global, 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, websites and radio networks in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland.