Fairfax Media has reported an $83.9 million profit for the last financial year despite its revenue from print advertising continuing to decline.
The company’s profit result is a big turnaround from the $893.5 million net loss it posted in FY16.
However, the results also showed that Fairfax’s overall revenue fell 4.8 per cent to $1.74 billion in the 12 months to 30 June 2017, while its earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 4.3 per cent to $271.1 million.
Furthermore, advertising revenue for Fairfax’s metro publishing division – which includes The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review – was down 17 per cent.
Fairfax’s real estate arm, Domain, experienced an 8.1 per cent rise in revenue to $320.3 million during FY17, with digital revenue up 18.8 per cent, while print ad revenue was down 12 per cent.
Meanwhile, Fairfax’s SVOD joint venture with Nine, Stan, is witnessing 150 per cent year-on-year growth in subscription revenue, with close to 800,000 active subscribers.
“Today’s result shows Fairfax is in great shape,” CEO Greg Hywood said in a statement to shareholders.
“We have delivered strong value for shareholders through growth and transformation initiatives. The strategy we commenced five years ago has successfully maximised cash flows of our publishing assets, and with that, built growth businesses in Domain and Stan.
“Our three publishing businesses are modern, cost-efficient and sustainable across digital and print. In the context of the global structural change impacting upon the media industry, the fact that our publications remain profitable and sustainable is an outstanding achievement.”
Fairfax also revealed that it plans to retain 60 per cent of Domain once it is listed separately on the ASX, with the remaining 40 per cent to go to Fairfax shareholders.