Southern Cross underlying profit up 3.1%

Southern Cross Media Group’s full-year underlying profit is up 3.1 per cent to $76.2 million but the media company has incurred a loss of $91.3 million following a previously announced writedown.

Total revenue for the 12 months to June 30 lifted 0.5 per cent to $661.0 million driven by a strong performing audio segment, while it maintained a fully franked final dividend of 4.0 cents.

The owner of the Triple M and Hit radio networks, which had previously announced a $227 million writedown against its regional television assets, said its audio business growth had outpaced the market.

Underlying earnings in the television segment improved by 1.2 per cent to $33.7 million but revenue declined by 3.2 per cent to $206.5 million against the backdrop of the regional writedown, which was reported in its half-year results.

Weaker television sales were offset by a 2.4 per cent rise in revenue for its audio segment to $453.4 million, which comprises metropolitan and regional radio, and podcasting.

Southern Cross audio was further bolstered by a 9.2 per cent growth in national revenue, which benefited from the federal election and the “Boomtown” regional marketing campaigns, as well as its growing podcast network of 65 Australian titles.

“PodcastOne Australia has consolidated its position as the leading premium commercial podcast business in Australia,” chief executive Grant Blackley said.

Underlying earnings, which excluded one-off costs incurred from restructuring and outsourcing, lifted 0.9 per cent to $159.9 million.

AAP

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