Prime posts profit after tax of $4.5m, down 56.2%

Profits have plummeted at Prime Media Group, with the media business reporting a statutory profit after tax of $4.5m, down 56.2% and a core net profit after tax of $5.5m.

For the first half of the financial year the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 47.4% on the prior year, dropping to $11.5m.

Total revenue across the business was $90.8m, a 7.2% drop.

It’s been a complicated six months for Prime, with Seven West Media making a play for the media group which was ultimately blocked by two shareholders – Bruce Gordon and Antony Catalano.

Advertising revenue across the business dropped 7.4% with audiences declining across all markets. Revenue in regional New South Wales and Victoria fell 7.8%, compared to a decline in the market of 7.2%.

But the business was able to maintain its 41.2% audience share throughout the period.

Prime has posted a fall in revenue and profit for the first half of the 2020 financial year [Click to enlarge]

Prime Media Group CEO Ian Audsley said the business was impacted like any other media company in the current market.

“As widely reported, it has been a difficult time in regional Australia over the past six months. Regional television advertising markets were challenged by a confluence of events as early as October 2019 when we reported the Tamworth fires in Northern NSW. Trading conditions have not improved in the current quarter and forecasting is difficult given the short trading conditions.

“As previously reported, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be a key focus for Prime in the lead up to the Olympic broadcast later this year. The Olympic broadcast has attracted significant interest from national advertising sponsors, with major advertising packages being negotiated.”

Audsley said the business was also challenged by the pressure being placed on the local advertising market by Facebook and Google.

The Prime Board has decided to not pay dividends given the consistent decline of advertising revenue. The prediction for the end of the 2020 financial year is for EBITDA between $22.0m and $24.0m and a core net profit of between $8.0m and $10.0m.


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