Seven West Media has more than tripled its interim net profit to $163 million in its first full six months of trading since the group was formed in April last year from the $4.1 billion merger of West Australian Newspapers Holdings and Seven Media group.
The result for the six months ending December 31 compared with a $50.1m net profit in the previous corresponding half.
Earnings before interest and tax were $309.7m, up from $78.8m a year earlier, which was at the high end of its November forecast.
Profit before tax was $231.7m on revenues of $1.01bn, with earnings per share of 26.1 cents.
The interim dividend is 19c.
“Our media businesses are market-leading and our objective over the next 12 months is to build on this leadership,” said Seven West Media head David Leckie in a statement.
“The advertising market continues to pose challenges but we are building revenue share, driving home our market leadership and maintaining vigilance on cost management.
“We are confident we are well-placed for the coming 12 months.”
It was this time last year that Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes announced the merger of WAN, which he chaired, and his 45 per cent-owned Seven Media Group to create Australia’s largest listed media company.
The company owns the Seven television network, Pacific Magazines, 50 per cent of Yahoo!7 and The West Australian newspaper.
Seven West Media said the merger made direct earnings comparisons difficult.
Of the individual business groups, TV channels Seven, 7TWO and 7mate delivered earnings before interest and tax of $205.7m on revenues of $655.8m.
Recent industry figures put Seven’s share of the advertsing market at 38.1 per cent, the company said.
The West Australian and regional newspapers posted EBIT of $66.5m on revenues of $185.6m, down 1.6 per cent on the previous corresponding half.
Publishing arm Pacific Magazines had EBIT of $22.3m on revenues of $150m in what the company described as “a challenging market”.
Digital business Yahoo!7, which SWM co-owns with Yahoo!, reported an 18 per cent increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and a 40 per cent increase in revenue.
Source – The Australian