Southern Cross Austereo bucks media trend as profit rises

Southern Cross Austereo has reported a jump in revenue of 9.2% on the back of its affiliate deal with Nine, with revenue topping $351.79m for the first half of the financial year.

CEO Grant Blackley said Nine affiliate deal continued to deliver positive results

The strong result, in what has been a weak advertising market, saw the TV and radio broadcaster report a net profit after tax of $48.48m, up 11.8% on the December half.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 1.3% to $92.6m.

The company said it has seen advertising growth across all its asset classes.

Southern Cross CEO Grant Blackely said: “These results demonstrate the depth and strength of a diverse media company that is outperforming the market in each of its categories.

“We have been systematically resetting SCA for success by focussing on our financial performance, our operational effectiveness in our existing businesses and investing in new growth opportunities that leverage our expertise in audio and entertainment.”

Blackley said a large scale rebranding effort across  both radio and TV had been aimed at creating an easier path to purchase for advertisers across the business.

He said revenue had been strong on the back of rebranding regional radio stations as part of the national Triple M and Hit networks, while the new affiliation deal with Nine signed in April last year and which came into effect in July, had also provided a healthy boost to the business.

“Our seamless transition to our new affiliation with the Nine Network has provided the platform to substantially grow revenues in our television businesses and excitingly, we have started rolling out 15 local 6pm news services in many of our Nine markets.

Blackley said the acquisition of Authentic Entertainment and the integration of Vevo’s sales representation had also had a positive effect on Southern Cross’s digital offer.

While Blackley lauded a positive result, he warned that the challenging advertising market would see low growth for the rest of the year and forecast EBITDA for the full year forecast to be at the lower end of guidance, between $177m and $183m.

The company said it would also continue with the disposal of non-core assets.


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