Seven West returns to profit, but held back by West Australian revenue fall

By Ian Verrender

Seven Network earnings underpinned the group’s performance with a 3 per cent lift in revenue to $1. 036 billion, accounting for 70 per cent of the group’s incoming cash.

The Perth-based owner of the leading Seven Network, Pacific Magazines and The West Australian declared a profit of $149. 2 million, well up on last year’s $69. 8 million loss which was hit by large writedowns in the value of its mastheads.

Group revenue declined 1. 1 per cent to $1. 86 billion but aggressive cost control, particularly in its print operations, helped the group lift its bottom line. Overall, costs fell 0. 4 per cent to $1. 45 billion.

Newspaper revenue fell 12. 4 per cent to $265. 4 million, while earnings before interest and tax dropped an alarming 24 per cent.

The situation was less severe at Pacific Magazines – the publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Men’s Health and New Idea – which appears to have slowed the decline in revenue to 7. 3 per cent from last year’s drop of more than 10 per cent.

Much of that pain was felt at The West Australian, where costs were slashed 7. 9 per cent, to help counter a dramatic fall in revenue.

On an operational basis, the company lifted earnings 3. 4 per cent to $330. 4 million, mostly driven by an improved earnings result from its free-to-air television operation.

Read more here: ABC


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