Cashed up oOh!media waits on the ACCC
Outdoor advertiser oOh!media – which has lifted profit 17 per cent to $21 million – is confident its proposed merger with rival APN Outdoor will go ahead despite another delay in the review process being conducted by the competition regulator.
The outdoor and digital advertising company yesterday posted a 17.4 per cent increase in net profit to $21.6 million for the 12 months to December 31, with revenue jumping 20.1 per cent to $336 and earnings before tax up 27 per cent to $73.5 million.
oOh! more than doubled its number of large format digital screens in premium locations from 90 to 190, including 54 large format road billboards. CEO Brendon Cook says that while digital revenue increased 71 per cent to $153 million, “our portfolio of over 14,000 classic [traditional printed billboard] panels contributes to the scale and diversity of audiences.”
Cook says he’s confident the company’s proposed merger with APN Outdoor will get the go ahead to create a leading Australian media group with diversified Out of Home and online environments in Australia and New Zealand.
“We had the confidence to go through this process and spend the money to do this so we wouldn’t have entered this if we didn’t think it was worth it and if we didn’t think it would be approved,” Cook says.
Industry competitors have reportedly raised concerns in submissions to the ACCC that the merger could create a monopoly-like hold on some markets but Cook says the merged entity would make up less than three per cent of the advertising market in Australia.
The ACCC said it expected to hand down either a decision or a statement of issues on March 9 but has now pushed the date back one week to March 16, amid reports that it plans to schedule face-to-face interviews with interested parties.
The proposed merger is still subject to a vote by oOh!media shareholders.