Southern Cross Austereo has reported an overall revenue lift of 7.5% to $691m with underlying net profit up 22% to $94m. Metro revenue was up marginally by 2% to $247m, but regional revenue jumped 10% to $421m.
SCA and Nine have partnered on new regional news bulletins which has seen the integration of 107 journalists in regional offices. Nine pays for the employees as part of the increased affiliation fees paid by SCA.
Grant Blackley, CEO of Southern Cross Austereo, “In FY17 SCA has delivered on a number of our key objectives, further optimising our sales and improving the monetisation of our assets, and successfully transitioning our television broadcast business across to the Nine affiliation including rolling out fifteen new local regional news services.”
But he noted he was frustrated by the Parliament not being able to pass media reform, adding there was nothing imminent in terms of deals it may do if media laws change, but left the door open to examining options.
Meanwhile Prime Media reported revenue was flat YOY with $240m for the 12 months. Annual EBITDA profits move up from $55m to $64m for the financial year, with a net profit of $36m.
Prime CEO Ian Audsley said: “This is a pleasing result, especially given the continuing challenges in the regional television advertising market. We were able to successfully monetise the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games and of course, like all commercial broadcasters, we were beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s use of its regulatory powers to remove licence fees payable as a one-off relief measure. As a result of the licence fee relief in FY17, Core NPAT was $35.6 million, exceeding our expectations for this financial year.
“Regional television remains under revenue pressure at both national agency and local sales levels. We expected the full-year earnings outlook to be 25% to 30% down on the 2017 financial year, given we don’t have the benefits of the Rio Olympics and licence fee relief in the current year. However, our July 2017 trading results were 10% below expectations and the outlook for the remainder of the calendar year remains challenged.
“We have high expectations for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 but it is too early forecast.”