Radio revenue softer for HT&E in the first half of 2019

HT&E has released its half yearly report, showing a 4% decrease in revenue, partly attributed to a softer radio market in Australia.
ARN revenue declined by 3.8% year on year to $115 million with a poor result in the first quarter before an improvement early in the second quarter and then a softening in May and June.
The ARN network of KIIS and Pure Gold are now reaching record numbers each week with over 5 million listeners and solid performances from KIIS 106.5 and WSFM in Sydney and continued improvement on GOLD 104.3 and KIIS 101.1 in Melbourne.
Adelaide’s MIX102.3 maintained its #1 FM breakfast and overall station for it’s 25th consecutive win, while Brisbane stations 97.3FM and 4KQ also had solid results.
Beyond broadcast radio ARN’s content consumption through iHeartRadio saw a significant increase in the first half with app downloads now exceeding 1.9 million with more than 1.3 million registered users.
Usage of iHeartRadio on smart speakers has grown to almost half a million hours a month.
HT&E Chairman Hamish McLennan says :“HT&E delivered a good profit result for the half particularly given the conditions in the Australian metro radio market were challenging during the first quarter, where sector revenue was down 3.1% on the prior year.”
CEO and managing director, Ciaran Davis, says “Our absolute focus in on our core radio business that remains highly cash operative with exceptional margins. Across the network we are reaching record numbers every week and we have maintained our winning edge.
“Broadcast radio remains our core business, and the big opportunity to transform from a radio offering to an audio business. We already deliver the most complete audio solution in Australia and our digital platforms that extend audience reach are a part of this. With our iHeartRadio platform we lead the marker and are investing in technology and data capability for targeted advertising to generate growth.”
Overall HT&E reported a profit from continuing operations of $13.3 million, down 10 per cent from 14.9 million in the corresponding period last year.

Late last year the company completed the $570 million sale of Adshel, which it said added $4.8 million in costs along with the closure of Gfinity Esports and the restructure of ARN’s corporate team.

Gfinity was first launched in 2017 and will run until the end of the year, but HT&E says it is not economically sustainable in Australia despite believing esports will become mainstream.

The board declared a fully franked interim dividend of 4 cents, payable in September.



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