The Ten Network is back in profit

Masterchef judges George Calombaris, Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan. Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Ten posted a $13.375 million half year profit as the free-to-air network grew its audience and benefited from a deal with Foxtel.

The result was achieved in the face of a weak national advertising market and compares to a loss of $264.4 million in the same six months last year.

The network’s television revenue of $334.2 million was a 7.9% increase compared with a 1.7% decline in the capital city free-to-air advertising market.

Total sales were up 8.1% to $348.48 million.

CEO Paul Anderson says the strong growth was driven by a 5.4% improvement in audience performance and the success of its advertising sales representation arrangement with Multi Channel Network.

This representation was part of a deal which saw Foxtel take a holding of up to 15% in the network for $77 million.

“Our clear strategy of investing in fresh and innovative prime time content and expanding strategically our digital media business Tenplay is producing encouraging results,” says Anderson.

“Ten was the only free-to-air television company to increase its prime time audience in the 2015 ratings year.”

Ten says its advertising revenue is expected to increase by about 8% in the first two months of the second half of the financial year.

The company’s line-up of content for the rest of calendar 2016 includes MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, Shark Tank, The Great Australian Spelling Bee, Have You Been Paying Attention?, Offspring, Brock, The Wrong Girl and Australian Survivor.