Seven West Media’s profits are up by 5.5% in the first half of the financial year despite a group revenue drop of 1.1%.
The profit rise is thanks to a rise in advertising revenue with television ad revenue, which accounts for 70% of the group’s revenue, up 2.6% to $683.7m.
Net profit after tax for the period is at $150.1m with revenue of $975.8m following the 1.1% decline.
Newspaper ad revenue dropped 11.8% to $139.4m “due largely to lower classified advertising revenue”.
Magazine ad revenue also declined, recording a drop of 7.3% to $123.8m.
The group has upgraded its outlook for the 2014 financial year in television advertising to “low-to-mid single digit growth” from “low single digit growth”. The current trend in newspaper advertising is expected to continue while the magazine ad market’s previous guidance of “rate of decline expected to lessen” has been maintained.
Digital and other businesses contributed earnings before interest and tax of $7.8m, up 2% on the previous year.
Demand for video on Yahoo!7 has been “growing rapidly” with streams up 13% on the previous first half.
Seven West Media is preparing for the launch of its internet TV service, HbbTV, and has been “progressing multiple initiatives to commercialise its audiences beyond advertising through data and transactions and using the promotional power of its assets on digital platforms”.
On the results Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner said: “This is a strong and positive result in what are mixed market conditions. We are delivering leadership in broadcast television and our publishing businesses continue to demonstrate market-leading margins and performance.
“Our objective is leadership in content delivery across our media platforms and our focus is achieving results for our shareholders. We’ve spent the past six months working hard at laying the foundations for our strategy. We have a new management structure in place and we believe we are in a strong position to build on our success.
“We continue to invest in our content and our businesses to drive home leadership, while maintaining our rigorous approach on cost management. We are developing greater inter-connections between our media businesses as we expand our presence in new forms of digital content delivery.
“We are pleased to see the television advertising market return to growth this half and we are confident in our positive outlook on the advertising market for the remainder of the financial year.”