Australia's Fairfax Media full-year profit falls 63%

GMT 03:53 2015 Thursday ,13 August

Arab Today, arab today Australia's Fairfax Media full-year profit falls 63%

Australian media company Fairfax
Sydney - AFP

Australian media company Fairfax reported a 62.9 percent drop in full-year profits on Thursday, but shareholders welcomed the consensus-beating result amid the challenges facing news organisations in the digital age.

Net profit plunged to Aus$83.17 million (US$61.49 million) from a year ago said Fairfax, which owns newspapers, radio and digital interests across Australia.

But revenue fell only 5.35 percent to Aus$1.87 billion, beating the forecast of Aus$1.82 billion from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Underlying revenue -- excluding the sale of two print plants and closed operations -- rose 0.3 percent to Aus$1.84 billion on the back of a 45 percent increase from Domain, Fairfax's real estate division.

"Fairfax has today reported top-line growth for continuing businesses for a full year for the first time in eight years," chief executive Greg Hywood said in a statement.

"Through organic growth initiatives and acquisitions we are moving to a position where the growth in our digital revenue offsets the decline in print.

"We are investing in our growth businesses and ventures -– which include Domain, Life Media & Events, as well as subscription video-on-demand service Stan."

Investors cheered the consensus-beating results, and Fairfax shares were 7.36 percent higher at 88 Aus cents at midday.

The Australian media group -- which own metropolitan newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review -- is facing similar challenges as international peers with print advertising and circulation revenues falling.

It has restructured operations to become more digital-facing and cut thousands of jobs over the past few years.

Fairfax declared a final dividend of two cents for a total payout for the year of four cents.

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