APN up overall but down on print

APN up overall but down on print

New Zealand Herald owner APN lifted its overall half-year profit 77 per cent to $22.6m, largely thanks to radio acquisitions but no thanks to its print division.

Sales revenue for New Zealand media was down 13 per cent to A$135.6 million (NZ$149.8m) for the first half of the financial year to June 30 compared with the same period the previous year. Operating profit for the New Zealand media arm dropped 13 per cent to A$22.7m.

Michael Miller, chief executive of APN, says, “Although advertising markets remain challenging, APN’s second quarter performed better than the first. This gives us great confidence in our strategy of investing in talent, brands, digital infrastructure and a more integrated approach.”

Factors affecting its New Zealand results include the sale of its South Island and Wellington newspapers in April last year and the sale of several magazine titles to Bauer in February. The company says it also found advertising agency business in New Zealand challenging during the six-month period but local retail advertising showed improvement.

Other events include APN and Fairfax Media entering into an arrangement to provide Fairfax Media with printing services at APN’s facility in Ellerslie, Auckland and the company launching a digital business-for-sale and real estate listings service.

APN’s New Zealand radio business, The Radio Network lifted its revenue six per cent. Across the Tasman, the Australian radio showed strong growth in the second quarter and gained market share to become Australia’s top FM network. The company spent $246.5m in February to buy up the last 50 per cent of the radio networks from American company ClearChannel.

Meanwhile, the internet has not provided a saviour yet with daily deal site GrabOne posting. APN says this reflects challenges facing GrabOne and other e-commerce businesses.

Miller says, “Much of the positive revenue momentum that we have seen towards the end of the half and in more recent months is due to investments that we have made across APN’s businesses. This gives us confidence that we are on the right track. With our strengthened balance sheet we have the flexibility to pursue further growth opportunities, which gives me great confidence in APN’s future.”


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