Nine's profits have jumped and its shares are going nuts

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesNinja Warrior.

Nine Entertainment shrugged off a weak advertising market to post a 55% rise in profit to $116.17 million for the first half of 2018.

A short time ago, the free-to-air television network’s shares were up 18.8% to $2.015.

The company says improved audience ratings have started to translate to better advertising revenue.

Revenue in the six months to December was 9% higher at 723.85 million.

The company declared a fully franked dividend of five cents a share.

CEO Hugh Marks says positive Free To Air TV ratings momentum combined with a focus on the 25 to 54 year olds demographics is translating to improving revenue share.

In digital, 9Now is experiencing strong revenue growth and the network’s digital publishing business has strong growth in premium revenues in line with our future strategy.

“Nine’s strengths lie in premium content and therein is the opportunity,” says Marks.

“To harness the growth in viewing across different platforms and distribution models, and optimise the total return on our content spend.

“We will continue to invest in our future – there is much work still to do but as can be seen from these results, the benefit to our shareholders is becoming increasingly clear.”

The results at a glance:

Source: Nine Entertainment

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