9Now and Stan shine in strong financial results for Nine

Nine’s profits and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) have grown by more than 50% with 9Now’s revenue growing 86%, the company announced this morning in its half year financial report.

The media company attributed part of its growth to a strong showing by online platform 9Now as well as its premium video service Stan with half year revenue up $720m, up 9% compared to the year prior.

Nine boss Hugh Marks is impressed with the results, says there’s still more to do

Nine’s television assets also saw sizeable growth, increasing by 10%, from $578.2m in H1FY17 to $636.2m in H1FY18. EBITDA rose by 57%, from $109.4m to $171.9m.

According to Nine, its metro television revenues are trading 7% ahead of the same time last year, while digital advertising revenue is approximately 15% ahead.

Overall, EBITDA rose by 51% to $181m and net profit after tax climbed by 55% to $116m. EBITDA growth included the removal of the ACMA licence fee and replacement with a fixed spectrum charge.

Net debt was $46m in the first half of the year, which included the final proceeds from the sale of the company’s Willoughby site. Expenses dipped from $896,794 in the previous year to $572,708. Television expenses fell from $820,039 to $479,371.

Looking at Nine’s digital assets, 9Now’s revenue was up by almost 90% compared to the corresponding period, from $9.8m to $18.2m. 9Now now claims a registered user base of around five million.

Digital publishing – which includes contributions from Pedestrian TV and CarAdvice – contributed $65.2m, up 6% from last year’s $61.4m. Nine bought a stake in Pedestrian TV in 2015 and bought CarAdvice for a reported $35m in 2016.

Stan – Nine’s video subscription service venture with Fairfax Media – saw its revenue grow by 83% and a cost increase of 29%. According to Nine, active subscribers now sit at approximately 930,000.

Pedestrian TV is one of the contributors to Nine’s digital publishing growth


Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine, described the media company as the “only” Australian media business with a “unique set of video-based assets”.

“Nine’s strengths lie in premium content and therein is the opportunity. To harness the growth in viewing across different platforms and distribution models, and optimise the total return on our content spend.

On Nine’s digital growth, Marks added: “In Digital, 9Now is experiencing strong revenue growth and our digital publishing business has strong growth in premium revenues in line with our future strategy. Finally, Stan is now approaching break-even and looking to further consolidate on its leading local position in this market.”

But Nine’s boss said there’s still more to do.

“We will continue to invest in our future – there is much work still to do but as can be seen from these results, the benefit to our shareholders is becoming increasingly clear,” he said.

Looking ahead to the full year result, Nine expects group EBITDA to come in between $237m and $261m. The business is looking for more revenue in free to air revenue through audience share gains. Nine has also said Stan will pass through break even.

Nine opened on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning with a market capitalisation of $1.70b on a stock price of $1.85. In the first half hour of trading following the results being released, its share price had gained 7% to $1.98.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.