Nine’s Profit Soars, As Stan Delivers The Media Giant Some Healthy Numbers

Nine’s Profit Soars, As Stan Delivers The Media Giant Some Healthy Numbers
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

Nine has released its results for the 12 months to June 2021, showing solid growth.

For the year, Nine reported revenue of $2.3 billion (up eight percent YOY), and a Net Profit After Tax of $184 million, which included a post-tax Specific Item expense of $94m.  Group EBITDA, before Specific items, of $565 millionequated to growth of 43 per cent, broadly in line with the first half.

Net Profit After Tax and Minorities, before Specific Items was $261m, up 83 per cent on the previous corresponding period.  Prior to the IFRIC-related adjustment, EBITDA was $566m (refer Results Presentation, 25th August, Appendix 1 for reconciliation).

Key takeaways include:

  • Continued audience strength across all key platforms – Free To Air, 9Now, Publishing, Radio and Stan
  • Marked recovery in ad markets, led by Television Combined
  • Strong growth from Total Television
  • Television Combined (FTA + BVOD) EBITDA growth of 73 per cent on revenue growth of 12 per cent
  • 2.4m active subscribers driving 29 per cent revenue growth at Stan
  • Group-wide costs flat on pcp, notwithstanding COVID comparables, and investment in Stan
  • 40 per cent growth in digital EBITDA to 44 per cent of Group total
  • Completion of licensing deals with Google and Facebook
  • Successful launch of Stan Sport with 250,000 active subscribers
  • Strong balance sheet, with (wholly-owned) leverage ratio ~0.4X

In a note sent to staff, Mike Sneesby, Nine Entertainment’s CEO (pictured) said, “producing world-class journalism and great entertainment content is never easy at the best of times, but the lockdowns on the eastern seaboard have given us unprecedented challenges.”

Time and again, you have all found ways around these challenges and ensured we meet the needs of our of readers, listeners and viewers every day.”

He also cited the difficulties of COVID, the economy’s fluctuations during lockdowns, and the cyber attack on the company earlier this year.

In an official statement on the results, Sneesby continued, “After a year which began in the depths of COVID, we are pleased to report 43 per cent growth in EBITDA for FY21.  Whilst this growth was consistent across both halves, the drivers in each half were quite different, highlighting the strength of Nine’s mix of advertising and subscription-based assets.”

“We were also successful in continuing to expand our business footprint, particularly in growth areas of the market.  In Total Television, we have carefully invested in and expanded the reach of 9Now, while continuing to grow subscribers at Stan, and launching Stan Sport.   In Publishing, that growth has manifested as greater audience reach and higher subscriber numbers, which has been augmented by the successful completion of licensing agreements with Google and Facebook, giving us a stable, incremental revenue stream.”

While this past year has proven challenging, we have been able to establish the base to execute on our longer term strategy.  Our Television and Publishing businesses have both reached critical inflexion points.  Growth in 9Now, coupled with some recovery in Free to Air, has resulted in a combined television business that we expect can now consistently grow revenues through the cycle.  In Publishing, digital subscription revenues have now passed $100m, with growth outpacing the decline in print sales.  Coupled with our ability to more fully monetise the digital distribution of our content, this will enable us to continue to both invest in Australia’s leading journalism and focus on the profitable growth of the business.”

It‘s an exciting time to have taken the reins at Nine, and I commend the team for how they have navigated the challenges of 2021. We are starting FY22 with strong momentum across all of our businesses – in terms of audiences and revenue, advertising and subscription.”

With the foundation of Nine’s unique assets, strong cash flows and a supportive Board, we have a clear vision for the future as Australia‘s Media Company.”

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