Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has delivered double-digit profit growth for the 2017 fiscal year, as well as announcing a move into the booming out-of-home (OOH) sector.
The group’s profit rose 40.7 per cent during the 12 months to 30 June 2017 to $108.6 million, while underlying profit was up 21.5 per cent to $93.8 million.
SCA’s overall revenue increased 7.5 per cent in FY17 to $690.8 million, while expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation grew 5.8 per cent to $177.4 million.
Commenting on the results, SCA chief executive Grant Blackley (pictured above) said the company has delivered on a number of our key objectives in 2017 by further optimising its sales and improving the monetisation of its assets, and successfully transitioning the group’s TV broadcast business across to the Nine affiliation, which included rolling out 15 new regional news services.
“SCA continues to invest to improve our content and marketing with the introduction of new formats and the incorporating 64 regional radio stations in the Hit and Triple M families,” he said.
“We have remained focused on our efficient use of capital by divesting non-core assets, including sale to the WIN Television Network of the northern NSW television business and sale of a portfolio of 45 transmission towers to specialist operator Axicom.
“This has enabled us to reduce debt by $56 million over the past year, reducing financing costs, improving net profit after tax and strengthening our balance sheet.”
SCA also announced that it has entered into a long-term partnership with property owner QIC to provide out-of-home (OOH) solutions in shopping centres across Australia.
This new model will see QIC provide the audience and infrastructure and SCA provide audio visual content for shopping malls with large-format digital screens situated in high-traffic areas such as food courts.
As SCA’s first foray into the digital OOH market, this initial agreement between SCA and QIC will cover malls in Canberra, Toowoomba, Robina, Logan and Melton.
For each of these shopping centres, SCA will provide locally relevant news, weather and sports content, and provide local businesses with the ability to engage with their local target audiences.
Blackley said the partnership with QIC is a perfect fit for SCA.
“As we lean on our considerable entertainment assets and extensive broadcasting experience, this will provide an unparalleled opportunity to unite local audiences and local businesses in the out-of-home environment,” he said.
“Our entry into the high growth digital out-of-home market is an exciting phase to the continued development or expansion of SCA suite of digital assets, including our new podcasting business PodcastOne.”