Nine Profits Drop With Rising Costs Cancelling Out Increased Revenue

Nine Profits Drop With Rising Costs Cancelling Out Increased Revenue

Nine Entertainment Co has seen its profits drop in the first half of its 2023 financial year compared to the second half of last year (lead image: CEO Mike Sneesby).

This is despite the network seeing its revenue climb by 5 per cent and its overall net profit climbing 14 per cent year-on-year. It had an $204 million in operating cash.

The business, which owns The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Australian Financial Review, saw around a 9 per cent growth in subscription revenue and a 5 per cent bump in its total TV revenue.

Radio was a particular highlight with a 122 per cent growth in digital revenue, while its streaming service Stan saw a 12 per cent lift in revenue.

The network’s property business, Domain, saw a 19 per cent drop in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) with a 28 per cent decline in ongoing EBITDA, reflecting the weaker property market.

Sneesby was “really pleased” with the results.

“Against the backdrop of rationalising investment by international streamers, Stan’s strategic positioning in Originals and Sport, together with its strong licensed content lineup, has underpinned a growing subscriber base and strong P&L, and stands it in good stead. Stan’s expansion of its Originals slate delivered excellent results over the past 12 months, which has been reflected in growth in active subscribers, now approaching 2.6m, and enabled Stan to successfully lift pricing,” he said.

“Nine’s broad portfolio of leading platform assets enables an unparalleled distribution proposition for our premium content. Sport remains key to this strategy, and, over the past six months, we have locked in significant content agreements across our television platforms – extending our agreement with Tennis Australia through to 2029 and bringing the Olympics back to Nine through until Brisbane 2032 – adding to our long-term agreement with the NRL.”

The company’s broadcast offerings, Nine Network, 9Now, and Nine Radio saw their combined revenue climbing by 5 per cent compared to the first half of last year. Their costs, however, climbed by 12 per cent. Similarly, Stan’s revenue jump was wiped out by a 17 per cent increase in costs.

Nine’s newspapers were almost entirely flat, recording an extra $100,000 in revenue, though costs declined slightly by $1.5 million. There was “mid-single digit (%) growth in digital subscriptions,” print subscriptions and retail revenue “slipped slightly.” The papers’ digital offering accounts for almost two-thirds of their revenue.

“While a more uncertain operating environment has limited H2 visibility, Nine continues to outperform the broader market, from both an audience and revenue share perspective. While remaining disciplined around operating costs, we are confident in pursuing strategic and targeted investments that underpin growth of our business for the long term,” the company said.




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