The boost driven by the Olympic Games and changes to the regional broadcasting landscape contrasts with a 17.1% slump in profits, reported in August.
Prime chief executive officer Ian Audsley said, “According to SMI data, Prime’s national agency revenue share for the first quarter of the 2017 financial year peaked at 49.5%, following a successful Olympic broadcast. Prime’s national sales have once again delivered a strong result, particularly given the national advertising market was back 4.0% during the same period.
“Prime’s forward bookings for October through December are also tracking above prior year levels. However, we do not expect the trend to continue for the full year. History tells us that national advertisers bring forward their advertising campaign budgets in an Olympic calendar year and as a result we expect a softer second half result.
“We continue to experience a decline in regional viewership, particularly viewers aged 25-54, which overall declined 9.0% on the year prior despite the Olympic broadcast.
“Prime expects its core net profit after tax for the half year to 31 December 2016 to be between $15.3m and $16.3m. The company does not expect similar gains in the second half of the financial year.”
The announcement comes just a fortnight after Prime announced it was cutting bonuses and freezing wages in the midst of a “rapid decline” in its market capitalisation.