Regional broadcaster Prime Media has recorded a 17.1% decline in its net profit, this afternoon posting a half-yearly net profit of $16.2m.
Prime’s profit is down from $19.5m this time last year with revenues also down some 7.9% as the regional television market in Australia struggled.
The net profit was boosted by the sale of surplus property for $1.5m and the sale of a minority stake in Gearhouse Broadcast for $501,000, leaving a core net profit of $14.3m.
“The 2016 financial year, to date, has been very challenging,” said Ian Audsley, CEO of Prime Media.
“While we continue to take the market-leading revenue share in our combined markets, a lack of confidence persists among regional advertisers, evidenced by the 6.2% revenue decline in the three aggregate markets.
The company noted that predicting revenues in 2016 would also be difficult given some of the major upcoming events, such as the Federal Election.
“An early Easter period and the fact that we have no visibility on the timing of the Federal Election makes forecasting an interesting puzzle,” he said.
Prime Media has cut its interim dividend by 2 cents per share, fully franked.
“The director took the step to reduce the dividend payout radio to 50% in order to maintain the integrity of the company’s balance sheet,” said Audsley.
“We will review again at the full year in light of advertising conditions at that time.”