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Writedowns across board hit Seven West

Writedowns to the value of Seven West Media’s television, newspaper, magazine and digital assets have pushed the company to a full-year loss of $744.3 million, compared to a profit last year of $184.2 million.

Excluding the non-cash impairments and other significant items of $988.8 million, Seven West posted a profit of $166.8 million.

The major item in the writedowns was to the value of Seven West’s television licence, which took a hit of $432 million.

About $140 million of the write-downs related to contracts with US broadcasters and the company’s rights for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Seven West chief executive Tim Worner said the impairments were made necessary by continued challenging conditions and revised growth assumptions. “We continue to lead in the core markets in which we compete, while at the same time making the necessary and sometimes difficult decisions in the transformation of our business,” Mr Worner said.

In terms of West Australian Newspapers, the company reported the acquisition of The Sunday Times and PerthNow from News Corp Australia had driven greater returns from existing newspaper assets, with the company achieving 50 per cent payback from The Sunday Times in the first seven months.

Advertising revenue for The West Australian was down close to 12 per cent to $127.8 million, while there was an 8.3 per cent lift in print and digital circulation revenues to $59.4 million. A focus on costs resulted in a reduction of $7.8 million.

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