Seven West Media – owners of Channel Seven and Pacific Magazines – has posted a $993.6 million half year loss following significant write-downs to the value of its television businesses. It also has significant newspaper and Radio interests in Western Australia including The West Australian and the classifieds weekly The Quokka.
Its near $1 billion loss for the six months to December 2014 comes against a $150 million profit a year ago. The prime reason for the loss was a $960 million write-down against its television assets and that’s despite Channel Seven being the country’s number one rating station and boasting a 40.4 per cent market share.
It has written down the goodwill associated with newspapers and magazines by $66 million and the book value of its newspaper mastheads and licences by $38 million. Seven’s shares have fallen from $2.18 a year ago to close at $1.42 this week following concerns about the state of TV advertising and performance of its newspapers in the west.
The company’s revenues also fell in the six months to December, falling from $966.3 million to $933.8 million. Seven West shareholders, however, can expect a six cents dividend per share.
When it came to advertising share, Seven West’s TV metro share fell 1.5 per cent in the six months to December; however, that was against an overall decline in TV advertising of three per cent. Advertising in its newspapers fell 12.5 per cent against a 12.4 per cent drop in newspaper advertising overall. When it came to ad spends in its magazines, the company copped a three per cent decline, but that was against an overall national average decline in magazine spending of 9.5 per cent.
Looking ahead to 2015, the interim report predicted that there would be a slight decline in TV spend, the continuation of current trend for newspapers, while the trend would continue to improve for the business’ magazine division.