Seven West Media today released interim financial results for half year ended 29 December 2018.
Despite a tough ad market revenue and ratings were up but profit at $86m was down 14% for the same period a year earlier. EBITDA of $161.5 million and EBIT of $146.8 million were down 8.8% and 7.9% respectively. SWM includes its print arm including The West Australian and Pacific Magazines.
Chief Executive Officer of Seven West Media, Tim Worner, said: “We promised to improve our ratings and revenue share this half as we focused on the core and we have delivered, despite a softer second quarter advertising market.
“We continue to transform our operating model at pace, driving greater cost efficiencies and increasing our group cost out targets. We absorbed the new cricket costs, maintaining a flat cost base in the half.
“At the same time growth in new revenue streams is outstripping our expectations with 7plus, 7Studios and our investment portfolio all delivering strong growth.
“2018 was a truly outstanding year for our TV business. Seven was Australia’s most-watched Network, and Channel 7 was Australia’s most-watched channel, both for the 12th year in succession. Even more remarkably, Network Seven achieved the highest commercial viewing share in ratings history, and led all the key demographics with our own highest ever shares of each.
“We also performed strongly in the battle for revenue, ending 2018 with the highest share of metro TV advertising, 39.2%. We expect to be number one in both ratings and revenue in the current Jan-Jun half.
“Our acquisition of the Cricket rights, at a lower cost per hour than the Tennis, has paid off with ratings exceeding our projections. Across summer, Seven grew its share of every key demographic throughout the day and in primetime and we scored a 40%+ share of viewing on 39 days – more than any network has ever achieved. We are now broadcasting premium sport every week of the year, and will be for years to come.
“Just over a year after launch, 7plus is surpassing our expectations and had the number one share of commercial FTA BVOD viewing in the final quarter of 2018.
“Seven Studios continues its strong upward trajectory, with EBIT on target for a seventh consecutive year of growth. Our shows are now engaging audiences around the world, with a slew of shows debuting on Netflix in the half to global acclaim.”