SCA Chair Rob Murray tells shareholders the COVID effect is not over yet

SCA shareholders were addressed by Board Chairman, Rob Murray, at yesterday’s AGM, telling them that the company had delivered sound financial results for the financial year just ended.

EBITDA was up 16.4% on the previous year, to $125.9 million, with a net profit after tax improving by 91.6% to $48.1 million.

Murray say, “Despite the groups healthy financial position, many challenges remain. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create uncertainty…and seems likely to do so for some time.

 “While advertising spending by retail, home furnishing, construction, finance and government recovered or grew during the last financial year, advertising clients in many other categories continued to be heavily affected by the pandemic.”

The Board welcomed three new members during the year, Carole Campbell, Ido Leffler and Heith Mackay-Cruise.

Executive remuneration was scaled back because of COVID, but a new combined Executive Incentive Plan has been adopted for the new financial year and beyond.

CEO, Grant Blackley, told shareholders that, “ We have begun this new year with a true sense of excitement and optimism.”

 Blackley says that the audio content is the first and most important requirement for their success, and highlighted the creation of Triple M Perth with its breakfast show featuring the Lord Mayor, Basil Zempalis, the launch of new breakfast shows on 2Day FM and Triple M Melbourne, and the addition of Nick Codi to Fox FM breakfast.

He says, “We’re monitoring the audience response to these shows and adjusting content and music to meet audience preferences. Particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, it has been a difficult time to encourage trial and build audiences for new Breakfast and Drive radio shows.”

 On the subject of the state based Breakfast “Super Shows” for regional stations in the Hit Network, Blackley says, “ This has improved the quality and consistency of content on regional Hit Network stations, while preserving our commitment to providing local news and other local content during the day.”

 In the year ending June 30, livestreaming to SCA’s stations reached 1.5 million people, up 30% on the previous year. In June alone SCA audiences consumed 10.5 million hours on livestreamed radio and 9.5 million downloads of podcasts.

The success of LiSTNR was also highlighted following its launch in February this year following the retirement of PodcastOne Australia.

Podcast listening on LiSTNR grew by 200% in the first five months, and this year SCA plan to migrate the users of the Hit and Triple M apps onto LiSTNR, providing a single home for SCA’s audio content.

Blackley says, “The reopening of NSW earlier this week and the plans to reopen Victoria from late October have positively stimulated advertising activity and we are seeing improving booking demand into November and December.”

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