TV Licence Writedown Sees Nine Post $203m Loss

TV Licence Writedown Sees Nine Post $203m Loss
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Nine Entertainment has reported a $203.4 million loss for the last financial year, primarily due to writedowns of its TV licence and exit from its contract with US film studio Warner Bros.

Nine’s $203.4 million loss for the 12 months to 30 June 2017 was in stark contrast to the $33.2 million profit it posted for FY16.

The result was largely due to $327 million in impairments, which included a $260 million writedown of Nine’s broadcast licence, and a $85 million provision to exit its life of series obligations with Warner Bros. on a number of US television dramas and comedies, which were both noted in the group’s half-year results.

Excluding the $327 million in impairments, Nine posted a profit of $123.6 million, compared to last year’s $120.3 million result.

Overall revenue for Nine was down 3.5 per cent in FY17 to $1.24 billion, while group expenses before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 1.9 per cent to $205.6 million, which was inclusive of the $33 million benefit from the regulated removal of licence fees for the year.

Nine’s TV revenue fell 4 per cent over the 12-month period to $1.08 billion, while its digital division experienced a 3.2 per cent revenue rise to $154.7 million.

Commenting on the results, Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: “The strategic work we did over the past 18 months to reshape our content offering has delivered outstanding results that will benefit our entire business in the mid-term.

“Our leadership position in key advertising demographics is continuing to strengthen as we progress through the calendar year. We are consistently growing advertising revenue share in FTA television, on-demand television and digital publishing.

“At the same time, our group-wide focus on costs continues to reap rewards. Overall and free-to-air costs were down a further 1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively (excluding the impact of the long-awaited licence fee relief). Including licence fee relief, our group wide costs were down 5 per cent.

“With a strengthening balance sheet, and significant operational momentum and leverage, Nine enters the new financial year in a much stronger position. Our focus on creativity and content has never been clearer.

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