Fairfax Radio revenue falls 6%: Annual Results

Fairfax Media has reported a net profit after tax of $224.4 million for the 2014 financial year, an improvement on the $16.4 million loss recorded in the prior year.

But the company’s radio division experienced falling revenue, down to $103.8 million this year from $110.5 million last year, in line with the falling ratings on some of its stations.

CEO Greg Hywood said at the company’s AGM today:

“Radio experienced a decline in revenue of 6% for the year, which was disappointing. There has been significant talent churn in the industry in the last six months.

“We have strengthened our line-ups. Our offering has been refreshed at five of the seven stations. Sales teams have been restructured to have a national focus resulting innew sales leadership in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s 3AW and 96fm in Perth continue to have strong ratings and audience share.”

The company’s overall top line result contains several one off abnormal factors such as asset sales and restructuring costs. The significant items after tax include gains from the sales of Stayz and other controlled entities totalling $100.4 million, offset by restructuring and redundancy costs of $16.9 million and impairments of property, plant and equipment of $16.8 million, mainly relating to print site closures.

Underlying EBITDA for continuing businesses is up 1.8% on the prior year to $306.4 million, excluding significant items. Overall revenue is down by 3% in statuatory reporting figures. $86.3 million dollars were paid out in redundancy payments, down from $96 million the previous year. 

The company will pay a dividend of 2 cents per share.

Greg Hywood said: “Transforming a business as diverse as Fairfax was always going to be a multi-year journey. Our achievements to date are reflected in the stable operating earnings performance announced today, a result that has been achieved despite continued structural change in our markets. We have been heartened by the performance of the business. We are in a net cash position and we’ve strongly grown earnings per share. Today’s result underlines the ability of Fairfax to deal with the enormous structural changes impacting upon the industry.”

Fairfax valued its radio licences at $114 million and goodwill for the radio business at $56 million.


Photo: Fairfax Media

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