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Nine’s revenue, profit, dividend tumble

Nine Entertainment has reported double-digit falls in earnings and profits and cut its dividend on the back of a challenging television advertising market.

Nine reported flat revenue of $2.69 billion for the last financial year, which was slightly below expectations. Net profit was down 25 per cent to $262.1 million while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation was off 16 per cent. In early trading Nine’s share price rose slightly.

Nine Chair Peter Costello and CEO Mike Sneesby in 2021

Chair Peter Costello said nine continued to solidify its position in the media market in Australia.

“Whilst we faced tougher economic conditions which have impacted the broader industry, Nine has risen to the challenge, continuing to drive audience and revenue share.”

While Nine scored a 40.7 per cent market share in metropolitan centres – a 20-year high – free to air television revenue fell 11 per cent for the last financial year.  For the broadcast division, which also includes 9Now and Nine Radio, revenue was flat. But the division was hit with a big jump in costs as it invests in content. The result included an $84 million write down of goodwill on its radio assets.

Publishing revenues were down three per cent, including a 16 per cent fall in advertising in the second half.

Stan reported a 12 per cent jump in revenue and a big jump in underlying profit. With subscriber numbers steady at 2.6 million, Stan has been able to improve margins by pushing though price rises across its subscriptions.

In its outlook statement, Nine said the market for metro free-to-air channels expected single digit decline in the short to medium term. Video on demand was expected to show double-digit growth, while a similar level of revenue growth was forecast for Stan.

Nine said in Metropolitan Media, which includes the mastheads, revenue was forecast to show slight growth with a similar story in the radio division. However Nine management were less confident about revenue growth in the regional free-to-air markets, and in nine.com.au.

Nine will pay out an 11 cents a dividend share for the financial year, down from 14c a share in 2022. Nine highlighted that last year was a record year for the media group, and the 2023 NPAT and EBITDA were the second best on record.

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