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APN posts 67% drop in first half profit

Thursday, 20 August 2015
By Print 21 Online Article

APN News & Media, the trans-Tasman newspaper publisher and radio station operator, has reported a 67% slump in profit to $7.5 million for the six months to June 30, down from $22.6 million in the previous corresponding period.

APN’s group profit was hit by $17 million of one-time costs, mostly due to the loss of an outdoor advertising contract in Hong Kong. Revenues from continuing operations rose 5% to $427.6 million, with APN saying that second quarter softness in the advertising market had continued into July. APN chairman Peter Cosgrove said the company had delivered a solid result in a competitive market.

The Australian regional newspaper division ARM posted a 5% fall in first-half revenue to $94.5 million and a 22 percent drop in earnings before interest and tax to $8.2 million. However, “audience growth driven by increase in digital, particularly in mobile,” pushed ARM’s total audience to a record 1.8 million each month and digital revenues were up 40% year on year.

The company is pushing ahead with plans to introduce a metered paywall system for its Queensland daily publications in the second half of the year and will roll out a digital subscription model for the New Zealand Herald before the end of the year.

The New Zealand unit, which includes the NZ Herald and several Radio Network stations, reported a 13% decline in earnings before interest and tax to $32.4 million on a 1% decline in revenue to $214.9 million.

The outdoor advertising business posted a 12% drop in revenue to $24.8 million and a 28% drop in earnings to $3.3 million – largely due to the loss of an outdoor advertising contract in Hong Kong with Buzplay.

The Australian Radio Network division (ARN) increased revenue by 29% to $104.6 million and reported a 26% gain in earnings to $36.6 million.

APN’s former head of the radio, Ciaran Davis, has now taken over as chief executive of the company, replacing Michael Miller, who has re-joined News Corp as executive chairman, Australasia.







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