Seven West Media Limited has reported a statutory net profit after income tax of $116.4 million on group revenue of $644.2 million to December 26 2020.
Underlying net profit after tax (excluding significant items) was $86.6 million, an increase of 26.5 per cent on the previous year. Underlying EBITDA of $165.7 million and EBIT of $151.7 million increased 24.4 per cent and 29.4 per cent respectively versus the prior corresponding period.
Highlights of today’s numbers included:
- Underlying Group EBIT of $152 million, up 29 per cent year-on-year
- $170 million gross cost out on track with a further $30 million cash savings identified
- Operating expenses declined 18 per cent to $480 million (excluding D&A)
- Net debt reduced 42 per cent to $329 million, a decrease of $241 million vs 1H20;$150 million of debt retired post half year end
- The metropolitan free-to-air TV advertising market increased 0.6 per cent during the half witha strong recovery in the December quarter (up 17 per cent)
- Secured #1 position in broadcast and BVOD audience share with revenue share gainsto follow
- Seven’s digital revenue grew 73 per cent year-on-year, driven by BVOD market growth of44 per cent and eight percentage points in share gains during the half
Seven West Media managing director and CEO, James Warburton (main photo), said: “This has been a very big year for Seven, with several major milestones achieved as we continue to re-position the business.
“Our new content strategy is firing, with a significantly improved ratings share and a more attractive demographic profile. We secured the leading share of audiences in broadcast and BVOD in the half. Our new tent poles are delivering on average 75 per cent more audience than the old content strategy. This will translate to higher revenue share in the coming 12 months.
“The market is showing positive signs of recovery with strong growth in the second quarter and forward bookings are looking positive for the third quarter.
“These strong operating performances have been delivered after a radical transformation of the cost base. The $170 million gross cost out remains on track and we have identified another $30 million of cash savings.
“At WAN, the team has undertaken a significant transformation, accelerating digital growth, cutting operating costs and executing a strategy to stabilise earnings and generate cash.
“Improving Seven West Media’s balance sheet has been one of our company’s key objectives over the past 12 months.
“We have made significant progress in addressing this, with a 42 per cent reduction in net debt year on year – ahead of our plan at the beginning of the financial year. We have also retired $150 million of debt since the end of the half year.
“This significantly improved financial position has provided us greater optionality in our asset sale processes to ensure we maximise value for our shareholders,” he said.
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