Fairfax posts a loss for its farewell results announcement

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  • Fairfax Media’s full year revenue was down 3.1% to $1.688 billion.
  • Net loss after tax of $63.8 million, compared with a net profit of $83.9 million.
  • Significant items after tax of $188.7 million.

Fairfax Media, in its last results announcement before merging with Nine, slipped into a full year loss of $63.8 million and reported a 2.8% drop in revenue to $1.684 billion.

In early trade, Fairfax shares were down 3.7% to $0.857.

The statutory loss included including significant items of $188.7 million. Underlying net profit was $124.9 million, a fall of 12.4%.

Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment last month announced a merger to create Australia’s largest integrated media player. The $4.2 billion combined business will include Nine’s free-to-air television network, a portfolio of digital businesses, including Domain, Stan and 9Now, as well as Fairfax’s mastheads such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and radio interests through Macquarie Media.

Chief Executive Greg Hywood, announcing the annual results, says each of the company’s businesses has maintained a growth focus.

“Fairfax is in good shape – and that’s the reason Fairfax shareholders have the opportunity to benefit from a step-change in growth through the proposed combination of our company with Nine Entertainment Co,” he says.

“We have long believed that media consolidation provided enormous potential to leverage increased scale of audiences and marketing inventory to grow our assets. Fairfax has consistently supported media deregulation because we saw the long-term benefits for shareholders.”

Domain Group revenue was up 11.5% with digital revenue up 20%. Australian Metro Media revenues fell 6.1%.

Results by division:

Source: Fairfax Media

In the first six weeks of 2019 revenue was down 5% below last year.

Fairfax Group is continuing with cost savings.

The company declared a dividend, 50% franked, of 1.8 cents a share.

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