Seven West profit dips on ad sales plunge

19/02/2019 - 09:50

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Seven West Media says its half-year net profit has fallen by 13.8 per cent as stringent cost-saving measures failed to offset a fall in advertising revenue, with the group flagging further changes including at its WA operations.

Seven West profit dips on ad sales plunge
The West Australian is owned by Seven West Media.

Seven West Media says its half-year net profit has fallen by 13.8 per cent as stringent cost-saving measures failed to offset a fall in advertising revenue, with the group flagging further changes including at its WA operations.

Net profit came in at $86.2 million for the six months ended December 30, compared with $100 million a year ago.

Seven West said half-year revenue fell 1.5 per cent from a year ago.

The company's advertising revenue, which accounts for a majority of its revenue, fell 3.2 per cent to $595.2 million during the period.

Half-yearly printing and digital advertising revenue slumped 11.6 per cent.

Like other broadcasters and newspapers around the world, Australia's traditional media companies are fighting an uphill battle to cut costs, diversify revenue sources and increase content offerings as advertisers increasingly flock to online giants for exposure.

Seven West, which has aggressively manoeuvered to reduce debt through a string of measures, including freezing dividends last year, increased its FY19 cost reduction target to $20 million to $40 million from $20 million to $30 million.

Its WA operations, including The West Australian, The Sunday Times and PerthNow, reported a 10 per cent fall in revenue to $95.6 million and a 16 per cent slide in EBIT to $9.0 million.

Led by Maryna Fewster, the WA operation is aiming to take out $10 million of costs from the business.

It is also planning to launch a digital subscription offering by the end of FY19, which implies a paywall will be erected to block non-subscibers from accessing its content.

The company did not declare a dividend for the period and said that dividend payments remained suspended.

Seven West books interim profit hit

* Net profit down 13.8pct to $86.2m

* Revenue down 1.5pct, including 3.2pct ad revenue slump to $595.2m

* No interim dividend declared 

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