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TVNZ pays out more than it earns

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/08/2016 Paul McBeth

Television New Zealand reported a 55 per cent fall in annual profit as it booked losses from foreign exchange markets and faced declining revenue.

Still, it resumed full dividend payments as it nears the end of refurbishing its Auckland headquarters, paying out more than it earned in the year.

Net profit fell to $12.7 million in the 12 months ended June 30 from $28.1m a year earlier, the state-owned free-to-air broadcaster said in a statement.

Excluding a $4.8m foreign exchange loss, earnings were in line with the $16.2m profit forecast in TVNZ's statement of performance.

TVNZ announced a dividend to the government of $13.4m , up from $8.3m, signalling a resumption to full payments after a reprieve while it refurbished its Auckland CBD building.

Revenue fell 6 per cent to $303.9m, as advertising sales slipped 3.3 per cent, government funding reduced, and a one-off gain on the sale of the archive in 2015 wasn't repeated.

"Audience share reached a five-year high powered by market leading news, current affairs and local entertainment programmes," chief executive Kevin Kenrick said.

"Off the back of this audience improvement, TV advertising revenue share strengthened from 60.8 per cent to 61.3 per cent."

Kenrick said the state-owned broadcaster was attempting to compete with global online players through its KPEX joint venture with Fairfax Media, MediaWorks and NZME to create a local online advertising exchange, with mobile devices driving online video consumption to an average of 10 million video streams per month.

TVNZ has submitted against the proposed SkyTV/Vodafone merger, arguing Sky should have to divest its free-to-air Prime channel.

In its results on Friday, Sky showed Prime advertising falling in seven of the last nine quarters, and totalling $24.7m in the last financial year, compared with $24.3m a year earlier.

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