Seven West Media has suspended dividends and its shares are soaring

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Shares in Seven West Media jumped after the free-to-air television network and media company accelerated its cost cutting and suspended dividend payments to shareholders.

At the close, the shares were up 18.6% to $0.605.

The company, which also has the West Australian newspaper and magazine titles, is aiming to cut costs by $40 million this financial year and by $125 million over this year and next.

“We have also announced the temporary suspension of our dividend as a prudent capital management step,” says CEO Tim Worner.

“The pace of our transformation is accelerating, as we adapt our model to a leaner, more agile company.”

Worner noted that metropolitan television advertising increased 1.5%Z to $1.5 billion over the six months to December, according to KPMG Think TV data.

For the six months to December, Seven West Media reported a profit after income tax of $100.7 million on revenue of $811.3 million.

The half year results in detail:

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