Nine Entertainment has predicted a 10 per cent rise in revenue following its takeover of Fairfax, with reported revenue growth across all of its businesses, except Domain.
While everyone in the Australian media industry was busy talking about Nine’s $115m ACM deal with Antony Catalano, the bigger news is Nine has now overtaken Seven West and News Corp in profits.
At the Macquarie investment conference last Wednesday, Nine CEO Hugh Marks said the media giant will lift its earnings by 10 per cent to between $420 million and $430 million by the end of the 2018-19 financial year.
This makes Nine the most profitable Australian-owned media business for this year and next.
Overtaking rivals Seven West Media and News Corp, Nine is forging ahead, with its profits expected to be more than double Seven’s.
Marks revealed Nine’s free-to-air TV revenue rose by 4 per cent in the March quarter, while its TV ad revenue rose by 4.2 per cent to 40.9 per cent.
Marks also revealed the metro media arm saw a 3 per cent rise in ad revenue, and a 12 per cent rise in print and digital revenues overall.
Nine has been tipped to buy out minority interests in Macquarie Media radio that it controls following the Fairfax takeover, but Mark did not mention the potential buy at the conference.
The network also expects a $30m swing in earnings as Stan breaks even at the EBITDA line in the fourth quarter of 2018-19, as well as an additional $25m from 9Now, and $30m earnings from annualised costs savings.
There was no talk of how Nine’s free-to-air TV or metro papers will do, perhaps a sign that both arms continue to battle with limp conditions.
The only reported downturn for Nine comes off the back of a falling property market, with Domain experiencing a 13 per cent fall in listings and 6 per cent revenue downturn.