The results are in with APN showing total revenue for its Australian Regional Media (ARM) was down 13% to $217 million, 2% increase for New Zealand Media and APN’s New Zealand magazine titles being sold to Bauer Media.
APN has also confirmed it is moving to take 100% ownership of its radio assets, Australian Radio Network (ARN) and New Zealand’s The Radio Network (TRN), from US partner Clear Channel for $246.5m. Click here for more.
EBITDA was down 23% to $29.7 million and following the appointment of new CEO Neil Monaghan in April last year, the ARM management team was restructured with an aim to stabilise the business.
Modular advertising was introduced last year across 12 of its regional daily newspapers to help make planning a campaign easier which saw standard ad shapes decreased from over 270 to just 18.
Increasing the focus on digital elements throughout last year, the ARM saw its digital and online platforms almost double, leading ARM to launch a combined print and digital sales strategy to leverage larger audiences.
ARM will continue to focus on cost savings for this year as a number of initiatives brought in last year saw rationalisation and outsourcing of support functions and continued print plant optimisation introduced.
It wasn’t entirely decreases seen around the board as APN’s second publishing business New Zealand Media (NZM) saw a 2% EBITDA growth to $NZ53 million.
Overall revenue for NZM was down 7%, however NZM achieved cost reductions of more than $20 million.
“Our New Zealand Media business had a stronger finish to 2013, resulting in EBITDA growth for the year,” Michael Miller, CEO, said.
“This is a result that few major publishing companies worldwide have been able to achieve.”
In the rest of the APN, the sale of APN Outdoor Quadrant to private equity for $69 million and and the sale of e-commerce business brandsExclusive for $2m in cash and 8% of the equity in buyer Aussie Commerce Group were completed in January and February of this year.
The complete sale of APN’s New Zealand magazine titles to Bauer Media is expected to be completed in March this year.
“The APN of today is in a far better position than it was a year ago. Looking ahead, we are firmly focused on growing revenues across our divisions,” Miller added.
“The majority of our portfolio is now in assets that are growing and have further upside potential and the majority of our businesses are now wholly-owned. Half of APN’s divisional managers have been in their roles for less than 18 months and we will continue to benefit from the changes they are implementing.
“The progress that we have made to date is encouraging and we now have a more focused, stronger base on which to build on.”