Fairfax profits fall 41%

Fairfax’s traditional media assets are under continuing pressure, an update to the stock exchange revealed today.

According to the six monthly update to the ASX, Fairfax Metro – the division which includes both the print and online operations of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age – saw profits down by a third on the same period a year before.

According to the update, EBITDA profits for Metro Media was down from $102.5m to $69.4m, a drop of 32.3%.

Metro ad revenue was down by 10% to $442m while circulation revenue was down 5% to $95m. However, online revenue was up by 17% to $127m.

EBITDA profts on Fairfax’s printing operations were down by 20%. NZ profits were down by 21%.

The radio operation – which saw Fairfax attempt to sell its metropolitan stations before removing them from the market after failing to get a decent price – saw profits fall by 38.5% to $9.6m.

The only division to grow profits was NZ website Trade Me which Fairfax has partially floated.

Overall, the company said that excluding significant items, its half yearly profits stood at $296m, down nearly 15%. Among the significant items was a further $22m writedown of the value of the company’s mastheads.

After significant items the company’s net profits were down 41% to $96.7m.

Based on the company’s promise to cut even more costs out of the business, its share price rose slightly.


  1. Ann
    23 Feb 12
    4:55 pm

  2. Maybe they will have to move out of their very expensive head office…

  3. Mark
    23 Feb 12
    9:32 pm

  4. I know no-one gives a stuff about print anymore, but myself and two colleagues recently paid for annual subscriptions to The Age, 3 weeks and no papers arrived, we all canceled and got refunds.

    If you struggle to deliver a paper to a metro address near the distribution center God knows what else is wrong.

  5. Annabelle
    24 Feb 12
    9:37 am

  6. Times are a-changing. They better put more resources into their tablet apps I say.

  7. Offal Spokesperson
    24 Feb 12
    1:39 pm

  8. Simply… wow!

    Not only that the numbers are this bad, but that no-one seems to be that bothered

  9. Logic
    24 Feb 12
    2:38 pm

  10. market doesn’t seem too phased. share price is stable so no one must be surprised at the result.

  11. me
    24 Feb 12
    9:06 pm

  12. “…share price is stable so no one must be surprised at the result…”

    Share price is 3c off its worse price ever, and not even a 15% buy-in by a billionaire could lift it.

    Fairfax are the most shorted stock in this part of the world (including Asia), which means the big money is betting on, or is going to force, a collapse some time in the near future.