Media company NZME has returned to profit after recovering from a Covid-19 initiated fall in advertising revenue and with the support of the government's wage subsidy.
The New Zealand Herald owner reported a net profit of $14.2 million after a loss of $165.2m the previous year, although the 2019 result was impacted by a significant write down of assets.
Chief executive Michael Boggs said the initial shock of Covid-19 in 2020 saw advertising revenues across the business fall by close to 50 percent.
"But Kiwi business owners understand the value of staying engaged with their audiences and as New Zealand moved through the crisis phase of the pandemic, advertising spend steadily returned.
"It's very pleasing that we ended 2020 with advertising revenue in some areas approaching levels similar to 2019," he said.
The company took $8.6m in government wage subsidies to help cushion the blow of Covid-19 lockdowns, reduced operating expenses by about 14 percent, and reduced debt levels.
Provided economic conditions and the Covid-19 situation improved, revenue continued to rise and costs were permanently reduced, the company expected profit growth in 2021 and a return to paying dividends in the second half of the year.