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NZME says profits 'steady'

NZN 23/02/2017 Rebecca Howard

Media group NZME has reported a steady full-year pro forma net profit as challenging advertising markets were helped by a strong growth in digital revenue.

The company, which is awaiting Commerce Commission approval to acquire Fairfax Media's local assets, said its pro forma net profit was $27.8 million in calendar 2016 from $27.5m in the previous year.

Statutory net profit was $74.5m versus $42.9m in the prior year, impacted by tax and a gain on sale of interest in the Australian radio network.

Trading ebitda was $71.9m versus $71.8m in the prior year, supported by a 6 per cent reduction in operating costs from integration benefits.

NZME said its trading revenue declined 6 per cent to $407m in challenging advertising markets. After adjusting for the impact of divestments and business closures, pro forma revenue fell 4 per cent.

Print advertising revenue comprised 33 per cent of the revenue over the year and pro forma print revenue declined 6 per cent to $237.7m, after excluding the impacts of business closures and divestments.

However, after a challenging first half, the decline in print advertising revenue slowed in the second half, NZME said.

The company said "radio and experiential" contributed 28 per cent of the revenue and at $114.8m was 4 per cent lower on the year.

However, it achieved digital revenue growth of 24 per cent in the year, versus market growth of 16 per cent, largely driven by mobile and video advertising revenue.

NZME's digital audience reach grew 19 per cent over the year to exceed 2.4 million and the company now has more than 900,000 social followers.

The company declared a fully imputed final dividend of 6 cents a share.

It provided no guidance for the current financial year.

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