News – AU – Nine half-year earnings up 79% to $ 1819m

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Nine Entertainment Co increased net income 79 percent to $ 1819 million for the half year, despite the difficult conditions in the advertising market caused by the coronavirus pandemic

The company’s revenue decreased 2 percent to $ 1.16 billion for the half-year ended Jan. December, while net income before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 42 percent to $ 355 million

Hugh Marks, CEO of Outgoing Nine, said the company performed well despite volatile market conditions on Jan. April a fully stamped dividend of 5 ¢ per share will be distributed

“We acted quickly as circumstances changed,” said Marks. “The lessons we learned from COVID are clear. Our focus on rigorous cost-effectiveness in our traditional media assets has delivered the profitability we seek and continued investment in ours digital business leads to strong digital profit growth Together we can continue to migrate the business to a more flexible digital base

“I’ve had a great five years at Nine and I’m confident that I’ll hand over the reins at the perfect time – a company that is clearly taking off”

The media company owns The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age as well as the television station Channel Nine, radio stations such as 2 GB and 3AW and the streaming service Stan Nine also has a majority interest in the real estate website Domain

Nine’s half year results are the latest for Mr. Marks, who stepped down in December after announcing he was in a relationship with former executive Alexi Baker, who became a replacement for Mr. Marks, who headed Nine for nine years unannounced Industry insiders familiar with finding a replacement said in early February that four executives were being considered

The internal candidates are Stan Managing Director Mike Sneesby and Chris Janz, Chief Publishing and Digital Officer. External candidates include former Endemol Shine chief Carl Fennessy and David Lynn, former President and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks

Revenue for Nine was steady at $ 6215 million, driven by a dollar return for television and strong revenue growth for the free digital video service 9Now, the radio division was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic Sales fell by almost 20 percent

Nine’s publishing revenue declined 9 percent to $ 263 million, but costs were cut 17 percent, and EBITDA rose 27 percent to $ 68 million in an internal note, Marks said Sixty percent of the publishing division’s total sales came from subscribers

“As you may have read, we are also in talks with Google and are resuming talks with Facebook to finalize a deal that, if closed, will offer another guaranteed annuity payment to underpin our journalism and which continues to develop our business, ”added Marks

The Herald and Age reported last week that Nine had signed a letter of intent with Google on a deal that could be valued at more than $ 30 million a year. Industry sources have since put that figure close to $ 45 million -Dollars a year Facebook hasn’t signed an agreement with the company as of this morning but is expected to do so after reaching an agreement with the government on proposed media negotiation laws
Subscription streaming service Stan benefited from more people spending time at home Revenue for the half increased 28 percent to $ 1491 million and profit from $ 14 million to $ 365 million for the half

Nine did not release a full year earnings forecast, but expected slight improvements in sales as the advertising market rebounded. Nine stocks closed at $ 267 on Tuesday

The company announced it would return $ 2 million that its subsidiaries received from the federal government as part of the JobKeeper wage grant program

Zoe Samios is a media and telecommunications reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Nine Network, Nine Entertainment Co, Media, Hugh John Marks

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Source: https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/nine-profit-up-79-percent-to-181-9m-20210222-p574on.html