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Peter Costello becomes chairman as profits fall again at Nine

Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Peter Costello, Australia’s longest serving federal treasurer, is taking the chairman’s role at Nine Entertainment.

He replaces David Haslingden from March 1.

“This is an exciting time of change in the media sector and NEC (Nine) is now strongly positioned to take advantage of these developments,” says Costello, who is also chairman of the Future Fund.

The company also announced its half year results today, with a 6.1% fall in first half profit to $78.4 million om a 5% fall in revenue to $690.3 million.

Nine is cutting costs in what it calls a competitive market.

“I am pleased to report a solid result in what has been a challenging advertising market,” says CEO Hugh Marks.

“Competition from both within and outside the sector kept pressure on our revenues. However, our stringent cost focus has resulted in a group-wide cost decline of 5% for the period, mitigating much of the revenue impact.”

An 8 cent a share dividend, up from 4.2 cents, was declared.

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