HT&E’s Profit Slumps As Audio-Led Strategy Sharpens

HT&E’s Profit Slumps As Audio-Led Strategy Sharpens
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Here, There & Everywhere (HT&E) saw its net profit after tax decline in 2019, as the company continues to focus on the audio component of the business.

Although the EBITA was up from $71.8 million in 2018 to reach $75.6 million for 2019, net profit after tax (NPAT) before exceptional items and discontinued operations was $38.5 million, down from $39.1 million the previous year.

Speaking on the results, chairman Hamish McLennan reflected on the year.

“HT&E is in a very strong position delivering great results and winning market share in a tough cyclical advertising market.

“The Company is highly profitable, cash generative with a new lean corporate structure that leaves it poised to capture upside in any recovering ad market.”

Revenue before financial income reacher $252.7 million for 2019, which was down from $271.8 million the year prior.

However, the company’s “renewed focus and redefined strategy” – which centres around the core audio business – has seen a reduction in “non-core investments”.

In 2018 HT&E sold off its OOH business Adshel to oOh!media for $570 million, while in 2019 the company ended its short-lived esports venture Gfinity Esports Australia and sold publishing business The Roar.

“We have made some difficult but correct decisions regarding selling non-core assets and on top of this the potential sales process for Soprano and Lux Group could deliver substantial uplift for shareholders,” said McLennan.

The shift away from these ventures has come as HT&E continues to invest in its audio business, extending the iHeartRadio licence to 2036 and securing multi-year contract extensions secured for Kyle & Jackie O, Jonesy & Amanda, Christian O’Connell and Jase & PJ.

“ARN finished the year as the #1 metropolitan network in Australia. In a difficult market we have the highest audience reach in the history of ARN with 5.3 million listeners every week, and our commercial offering is winning share,” said HT&E CEO & managing director Ciaran Davis.

“We are also delivering a clear and unique digital strategy providing radio, music streaming and podcasts all on the one platform, iHeartRadio.

“This licence, extended to 2036 on an exclusive basis, gives us an incredible competitive edge that simply cannot be replicated, and augments our investment in data and technology to grow our share of the digital audio advertising markets.”

 

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