Fairfax group revenues rise following acquisitions but publishing slips 7 per cent

fairfax media trading update

A slide from this morning’s presentation

Fairfax has reported a group revenue increase after acquiring the Macquarie Radio Network and Metro Media Publishing, but publishing revenues have continued to decline.

In a trading update lodged this morning with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: FXJ) the media company said overall group revenues “are up just under one per cent” for the period from January to April 26.

stan fairfax updateWhile describing the result as “pleasing”, Fairfax warned it continued to incur losses “to take advantage of growth opportunities”. Slides published with the report show staff levels are down 26 per cent at the publisher since 2012 as it has slashed costs.

The update also flagged ambitions to have 300,000 – 400,000 active subscribers to its joint venture video streaming service Stan, which it claims is “tracking” to 200,000 users since its launch in January.

The company also said the result is not like-for-like as it acquired full ownership of Metro Media Publishing and took control of Macquarie Radio Network during the period.

Publishing revenues fell seven per cent while metro media, which includes Domain, climbed by the same amount.

Domain’s revenue soared 54 per cent but included “the benefits of acquisitions” of MMP and Allhomes from October 2014. Domain’s digital business climbed 32 per cent and was up 27 per cent.

Revenue generated from its radio interests, which included four weeks of the combined Fairfax-Macquarie network, saw a nine per cent improvement. It also flags expected annualised savings of $15m as a result of the merger.

Elsewhere, Australian community media revenue fell eight per cent, as it prepares to slash jobs over the next year from regional papers, with its New Zealand operations up less than 0.5 per cent, which included currency benefits.

Events revenue has risen 79 per cent in the six months to December 2014 compared to the same period in 2011


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