Fairfax Cost-Cutting On Track But Revenue Is Down 6 Per Cent: Here's What They're Doing About It

Fairfax Media’s group revenue is down six per cent this financial year, the company’s AGM heard today.

CEO Greg Hywood: “Overall group revenues for continuing businesses are down 6 per cent compared to the prior year. The post-election advertising cycle is not proving to be robust and advertising bookings are short, providing limited visibility.”

Fairfax Media revenue by division:

  • Metro Media down 9 per cent
  • Regionals down 10 per cent
  • New Zealand is down 4 per cent in NZ dollars and up 7 per cent including currency benefit Broadcasting is in line with last year.
  • Domain’s overall revenue is up 4 per cent with its digital business up 32 per cent and digital listings business up 36 per cent.

Hywood says: “Real estate activity in Sydney is particularly strong, requiring only short but effective advertising campaigns. If history is any guide, in due course we will likely see a lengthening of ad campaigns and associated spend as more inventory comes to market.”

Fairfax, which says its cost cutting is on target, expects to deliver costs in the vicinity of $1.6 billion in the 2014 financial year.

Digital subscriptions for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age: 86,000 new digital subscribers with more than 102,000 of existing print subscribers signing up for digital access.

Fairfax has been diversifying its revenue from the tradition base of advertising and subscriptions.

One area of revenue development is creating content for marketing which, Fairfax says, now represents a quarter of market budgets in Australia and is growing 20 per cent a year.

Fairfax also is developing its events business, now generating $25 million, and includes the City2Surf, business media forums and conferences.

(Disclosure: Business Insider Australia’s publisher, Allure Media, is owned by Fairfax Media)

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