The Nine Network posted a loss of $203.44 million, mostly due to writedowns on the value of its television licence and costs associated with getting out of expensive content deals.
Revenue was down 3% to $1.24 billion. The loss included $260 million against Nine’s broadcast licence and a $85.7 million to exit an agreement with the US studio Warner Bros.
A short time ago, Nine shares were up 4.7% to $1.56.
“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,” says CEO Hugh Marks.
“Nine enters the new financial year in a much stronger position.”
He says costs are down 2% and licence fee relief totals $32.8 million. The federal government in July reduced the fee for commercial television broadcasters to zero from about $127 million for the 2017 financial year and replaced it with combined spectrum usage fees of about $43.5 million.
Nine’s $147.5 million sale of its Willoughby property in Sydney is expected to complete by September 15. The transaction will result in a profit before tax of $81 million being booked in 2018.
Nine declared a fully franked final dividend of 5 cents a share, giving a full year payout of 9.5 cents.
The 2017 numbers: