TV Licence Writedown Sees Nine Post $203m Loss

TV Licence Writedown Sees Nine Post $203m Loss
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Nine Entertainment has reported a $203.4 million loss for the last financial year, primarily due to writedowns of its TV licence and exit from its contract with US film studio Warner Bros.

Nine’s $203.4 million loss for the 12 months to 30 June 2017 was in stark contrast to the $33.2 million profit it posted for FY16.

The result was largely due to $327 million in impairments, which included a $260 million writedown of Nine’s broadcast licence, and a $85 million provision to exit its life of series obligations with Warner Bros. on a number of US television dramas and comedies, which were both noted in the group’s half-year results.

Excluding the $327 million in impairments, Nine posted a profit of $123.6 million, compared to last year’s $120.3 million result.

Overall revenue for Nine was down 3.5 per cent in FY17 to $1.24 billion, while group expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 1.9 per cent to $205.6 million, which was inclusive of the $33 million benefit from the regulated removal of licence fees for the year.

Nine’s TV revenue fell 4 per cent over the 12-month period to $1.08 billion, while its digital division experienced a 3.2 per cent revenue rise to $154.7 million.

Commenting on the results, Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: “The strategic work we did over the past 18 months to reshape our content offering has delivered outstanding results that will benefit our entire business in the mid-term.

“Our leadership position in key advertising demographics is continuing to strengthen as we progress through the calendar year. We are consistently growing advertising revenue share in FTA television, on-demand television and digital publishing.

“At the same time, our group-wide focus on costs continues to reap rewards. Overall and free-to-air costs were down a further 1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively (excluding the impact of the long-awaited licence fee relief). Including licence fee relief, our group wide costs were down 5 per cent.

“With a strengthening balance sheet, and significant operational momentum and leverage, Nine enters the new financial year in a much stronger position. Our focus on creativity and content has never been clearer.

The options available for us to monetise our content have never been more diverse. The media world of the future is video-based, and we are right at the forefront of it in Australia.”

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