Seven West back in black with $135.2m profit

Seven West Media has reported a net profit of $135.2 million for the six months ending December 26, as the company forecasts a flat television advertising market year-on-year and continues to reduce costs and net debt.

The results follow a $934.7 million loss reported by SWM in the previous corresponding period, which was attributed to write-downs across the business.

Excluding significant items, SWM reported a 2.1 per cent increase in profit after tax to $140.3 million although total revenue fell by 5.3 per cent to $892.9 million.

“Today’s result in an extraordinarily competitive and rapidly changing market is positive,” said Tim Worner, SWM chief executive and managing director.

“We are delivering leadership in broadcast television, and our digital and publishing businesses continue to deliver market-leading margins.”

“We are building and transforming our business, managing our costs, focusing on our core strength of content creation and rapidly expanding our presence across all communications devices.”

Revenue from SWM newspapers as a percentage of the group continues to shrink, falling from 15 to 14 per cent as television grows to 74 per cent of earnings.

However revenue from both parts of the business were down, with television falling 2.1 per cent to $662.9 million and newspapers falling 11.4 per cent to $121.4 million.

SWM’s newspapers, which include The West Australian and several regionals, reduced costs by 8.3 per cent over the corresponding period, partially offsetting revenue drops of 9.3 per cent from circulation and 14.8 per cent from advertising.

The West Australian did, however, increase its social audience 30 per cent year-on-year, expand its live events capability and increase its integration with Channel Seven, Perth, as part of its integrated newsroom model.

The company will offer an interim dividend of 4 cents per share fully franked. 

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