Fairfax Media has announced this morning an 86 per cent fall in first year profits to December. The sharp fall has been blamed on redundancy payouts and an asset sale in the previous reporting period that skewed profits favourably for the media company.
Its net profit for the six months to December was $26.3 million, down from $198.3 million from the same period last year. However, that figure was substantially beefed-up by the $100 million sale of its Stayz accommodation website. Fairfax’s bottom line also took a hit of $38.3 million in redundancies and restructuring costs.
Fairfax – the publisher of esteemed mastheads The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review – has come under fire in recent times as it has attempted to reign in costs by slashing staff, outsourcing editorial numbers and closing titles – namely magazine inserts.
It reported that revenues in the six months to December also fell year on year by 2.4 per cent. Nor has 2015 been kind to the business, with revenues down an estimated three per cent in the first seven weeks of the year.