Weak property listings affect Fairfax revenues

A sluggish real estate listings market driven by a long election campaign and proposed superannuation changes is affecting company revenues, according to Fairfax Media.

Fairfax announced a 6 to 7 per cent drop in overall group revenues for continuing businesses in a year-to-date trading update posted at its annual general meeting today.

The result was better than expected, but encompassed an 8 per cent revenue drop for Fairfax’s Metro Media division, 10 per cent drop for Australian Community Media and a 4 per cent drop for New Zealand Media, which included the impact of currency.

Overall revenues for the 12 months to of property division Domain were up 2 per cent, with total digital business up 11 per cent.

However, in the corresponding period to October 2015, digital revenues grew 43 per cent buoyed by strong new listings growth.

New listings volumes have dropped this year by 18 per cent in Sydney and 5 per cent in Melbourne.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood remained confident in the outlook of Domain and said “the temporary blockage in the listings pipeline will clear as more vendors return to the market”.

Fairfax is continuing its cost cutting initiatives and reaffirmed its three strategic pillars: to grow Domain, transform the publishing business and create new revenue streams.

Chairman Nick Falloon said while the company supports media ownership law reform in principle, “the key planks of our strategy are not dependent on achieving any particular outcome”.

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