24 Feb 2017

NZME reports strong profit, revenue falls slightly

12:34 pm on 24 February 2017

NZME has reported a strong full year net profit, though weak advertising markets drove revenue down 5 percent.

NZME signage

NZME signage Photo: RNZ / Calvin Samuel

The publishing and media company's full year net profit rose 74 percent to $74.5 million in the year to December, which included a $13.9m gain related to the demerger from Australian media company APN News & Media.

Underlying profit was otherwise flat at $71.9m, reflecting a 6 percent fall in operating costs. Revenue fell 5.2 percent to $407.9m.

The company said it was a stable result, despite challenges in the advertising markets. The second half had improved and was better than the market expected.

Chief executive Michael Boggs said NZME had grown its audience reach by 5 percent to 3.2 million in 2016, across its media, sport and entertainment assets, which include The New Zealand Herald, other newspapers, a string of radio stations including Newstalk ZB and ZM, and the GrabOne website.

"In FY 2017, our aim is to improve shareholder value through future growing audience reach, retaining revenue in print and making sure radio returns growth. We want to grow new revenue streams across the company, while managing our costs and capital really well," he said.

A decision from the Commerce Commission on NZME's proposed merger with competitor Fairfax New Zealand is expected on or before 15 March.