Nine has reported a profit of $234m for the financial year 2018/19 with CEO Hugh Marks citing a strong result in a tough advertising market.
The figure is up 12% on the previous corresponding period and follows Nine’s takeover of Fairfax Media, including full ownership of Stan.
Nine incurred $58 million in costs related to the Fairfax merger, including $36.6 million in redundancies. This was more than offset by a $93 million increase in the carrying value of Stan, which it had announced previously.
Nine Network (TV) reported a revenue decline from $1,154m to $1,090m for the year. The decline however, was confined to the first half – second half revenues grew by 2%, as share gains more than offset the impact of a difficult FTA market.
On a ratings basis, for the year, Nine attracted a #1 commercial network share of 38.3% of the 25- 54 demographic.
Stan grew its active subscriber numbers to 1.7m. The combination of the strong subscriber build, and the $2 price rise from March increased Stan’s revenue by 62% across the year and resulted in the Group’s first EBITDA positive result in the second half.
9Now reported a 51% revenue growth.
“Without a doubt, 2018-19 has been a transformative year for all parts of the combined Nine business. We’ve evolved rapidly, while keeping our eyes firmly focused on the day to day needs of our individual businesses. Our revenue model is no longer singularly dependent on television, publishing, digital, or radio – it is now a unique, combined advertiser offering, and one that is getting real traction in market,” Marks told staff in an email.
In a statement to market he said, “To achieve 10% EBITDA growth in this cyclically challenging FTA and housing market was a very strong result. It’s a validation of our strategy, the success of the investments we have made, and the efforts of our people.
“Nine has real operating momentum in each of our divisions, with an earnings composition increasingly weighted to high growth businesses. In particular, we are well placed to further expand our share of the rapidly growing digital video market. Not only through 9Now and Stan but also more broadly across our digital assets. We will continue to draw on the strength of our traditional media assets to help us successfully build complementary, high growth, digital media businesses of the future. A strategy that has, of course, been greatly enhanced by the merger with Fairfax.
“Growth in Digital & Publishing and the move to profitability through the second half at Stan enabled us to grow Nine’s EBITDA year on year, giving us further confidence that we are investing in the right content and technology for the future of our business.
“We are excited about the future, and the potential we see in the further execution of our strategy. Having all of our businesses working together will maximise the benefits for each of them as well as the collective benefit for Nine as a Group.”
Nine today also appointed Paul Koppelman as Chief Financial Officer, effective 3 September 2019. He was most recently Chief Financial Officer of ASX-listed Aconex, through to its acquisition by Oracle.