Seven West Media posted a half year loss of nearly $1 billion after writing down the value of its television and newspaper business.
The write downs total $1.148 billion, mainly for impairment of television goodwill at $960.9 million. Impairment of newspapers and magazines goodwill was $65.7 million and the mastheads $38.4 million.
The company, which is chaired by Kerry Stokes and runs the Seven Network, The West Australian, and Pacific Magazines, reported a statutory net loss of $993.6 million for the six months.
Total revenue was $943 million and the underlying profit was $137.5 million.
CEO Tim Worner said says the write downs reflect the revision of future growth rates given subdued advertising conditions.
“This does not diminish our belief in the future of free-to-air television or our ability to maintain leadership, revenue share and cost control in the business,” Worner says.
Management guidance for the 2015 financial year television advertising market is for a slight decline from prior year.
The newspaper advertising market is expected to continue in line with current trends. Magazines advertising market trends should continue to improve.
“We are focused on driving home our leadership in content creation and to use the strengths of our media businesses to drive better outcomes for our audiences and our advertisers on digital platforms,” Worner says.
“We are advancing on our plans for the delivery of our content beyond broadcast television and publishing, with our next major step, the recent launch of Hybrid TV, and our moves into new forms of content delivery with (Foxtel’s) Presto.”
An interim dividend of 6 cents per share (fully franked) has been declared.