Southern Cross Austereo profit up 11 percent

Southern Cross Austereo has just released its financial results for the half year to December 2016,

Net profit (NPAT) up 11.8%, to $48.5 million on revenue of $351.8 million.

There were a couple of abnormal items during the second half of 2016, including a new TV program supply deal with Channel 9 and the acquisition of Authentic Entertainment.

The company reported increased revenue in its regional television business and improved sales practices across all business units. Shareholder returns were up, with SCA issuing a fully franked dividend of 3.75 cents per share. Financing costs were reduced by 28.1%.

SCA has just signed a contract to divested itself of 45 transmission sites, selling the sites to Axicom for $12.6 million and renting them back in a long term facilities deal. This move will impact positively in the next half year’s results.

Regional revenue (both radio and tv) was up 15% to nearly $217 million in the half year to December 2016. Metro revenue (radio only) was up 3.5% to $125 million. Regional tv revenue was up 24.7% to 130.1 million after the network changed to Channel 9 programming.

Radio Results

Metro radio revenue increased from $121m to $125.2m in the half year, up 3.5% on the previous corresponding period. Expenses were also up, with $94.3m spent on operations of the metro radio group of stations. Profit (EBITDA) for Metro Radio was $30.9m, up 4% on the previous period.

Regional radio revenue was up from $84.2m to $86.6m, an increase of 2.8%. The company aggregates regional radio adn tv expenses together, so it is not possible to break out regional radio expenses. All regional expenses increased from $123.7m to $154m.

After the rebrand of its networks to align with Hit and Triple M brands, regional radio is now easier to buy, according to the report, resulting in the 3% regional radio revenue growth.

Staff costs were $26.9 million, up from $23.4 million the previous corresponding period.

SCA (Stock exchange code SXL) has given a low growth forecast for the coming financial year.

Shares in the company were trading steady at $1.41 this morning, on news of the results.

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