20 Feb 2014

APN results show 'return to growth'

11:48 am on 20 February 2014

APN News and Media says its annual results represent a return to growth.

The company, which owns the New Zealand Herald, made a $A2.6 million net profit for calendar 2013, a big turn-around from the previous year's $507 million loss.

Chief executive Michael Miller says the company's net profit growth is the best since 2005 and it's delivered on its cash-flow and cost saving targets.

He says the Australian Radio Network (ARN) continued its market share growth and both ARN and the Radio Network in New Zealand delivered strong earnings improvements.

Mr Miller says it's been a challenging start to the year and publishing revenue declines have been consistent with the second half of 2013, while radio revenues are in line with the prior year.

He says the company is continuing to invest in its growth businesses with the additional costs being offset by ongoing publishing cost savings and overall total costs are down year-on-year.

The company is also buying the other 50 percent of The Radio Network in New Zealand and the Australian Radio Network for $246 million.

Mr Miller says APN will have full ownership of the largest network of radio stations across Australia and New Zealand.

He says APN is confident that radio will further grow as a medium and that the Australian and New Zealand Radio Networks will continue to capture a greater share of the radio market.

APN sold its magazine titles to Bauer Group, and other newspapers as well as its outdoor advertising business earlier in the year.