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Fairfax hints at small steps for the future

Monday, 27 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

When the company presented its 2006-07 financial results last week, chairman Ron Walker announced that Fairfax had "caught up with a number of lost years."

Major achievements for the 2007 financial year included the merger with Rural Press; the acquisitions of the Border Mail and Riverina Media Group; news online initiatives such as Brisbanetimes.com.au, Businessday.com.au and afr.com.au and circulation growth in its largest publications, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review.

"During this past year, Fairfax Media has continued to implement its strategy of growth and diversification, resulting in a significant strengthening of the company as a diversified media group with strong platforms for future growth," said David Kirk, CEO.

Kirk said that the integration of Rural Press with Fairfax Media is currently proceeding well and should continue to do so. "We are fully on track to deliver cost synergies flowing from the merger of approximately $45 million," he said.

Implementation and execution will be the focus for Fairfax over the coming year, with the company’s focus lying in: integrating Rural Press with Fairfax Media, relocating the Sydney headquarters to One Darling Island, completing property plans for the new Melbourne headquarters and completion of the acquisition of the radio and video production assets of Southern Cross Broadcasting.

With these steps well under way, there are no current plans for new purchases. However, Kirk told the Australian Financial Review that if the opportunity were to arise, Fairfax would consider it.

"We are always open to small print or online acquisition," he said. "But there are no major deals around now."

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