As reported previously, with the impairment charges removed, Net Profit After Tax (before significant items) was $80 million. The board declared a final fully-franked dividend of 3 cents per share, making dividend payments 7.5 cents per share for the full year.
SCA Chairman Max Moore-Wilton told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting yesterday that the 2014 financial year continued the “challenging trading conditions seen over the last few years in the advertising sector.”
“The improvements in consumer sentiment following the federal election in September 2013 have proved shortlived, with sentiment returning to levels experienced during 2011 and 2012. As a result ofthese difficult trading conditions, revenues reduced marginally by 0.3% to $641 million.”
Commenting on the company’s radio division performance, Moore-Wilton said:
“The success of our Triple M network continued during the year. It dominates male audiences in the 25-54 age band with a national audience of nearly 900,000 listeners and a clear number one position for that demograph.
In what will be his last AGM before stepping down as chairman, Moore-Wilton again prodded the government to undertake media reforms, saying he has one major regret, “that the government has not yet sought to reform a number of outdated legislative regulations which are preventing the industry from moving to meet the challenges of new technologies and changing market requirements.”
CEO Rhys Holleran said sales have been “flat” in the first quarter of the financial year, since the previous results briefing in August.
Regional radio revenue declined over the first 2 months of the year, but returned to growth in September.
He said metro market share has “stabilised at 28-29%” but this is “below where we would like it to be.”
“The Today network continues to operate in a competitive ratings environment and our loss of audience is the key contributor to our erosion of market share. The regeneration of the Fox brand in Melbourne has been a success. It’s no secret that the 2DayFM breakfast show has not met our expectations and we will continue to
In the formal business of the meeting, the election of new directors and adoption of the remuneration report were approved by shareholders. With an adverse shareholder vote against the remuneration report last year, the board worked closely with major shareholders this year to understand their concerns and modify remuneration to satisfy shareholder concerns.
Following up from the AGM, today’s Australian newspaper reports on the potential sale of SCA’s underperforming assets, with Moore-Wilton telling the newspaper: “The board will be having a major strategy discussion at its first board meeting in November. I will leave anything we might want to say until after that… We intend to maintain our position of leadership and adjust our strategies according to the circumstances.”