Digital billboard transition powers APN Outdoor growth

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 21 August 2017

The transition to digital billboards continues to power growth at APN Outdoor. The outdoor company grew half-yearly revenues by 8% to $162.3 million.

This was less than rival Ooh!Media's 18% revenue growth to $173 million, which his further ahead in its transition to digital formats.

APN Outdoor grew its digital billboard revenue by 27% to $60.1 million compared to the first six months of 2016.

This includes adding 16 large format 'elite screens' with a further 24 to go live in the rest of this year.

The company's classic billboard revenue had a marginal decline, down 1% to $102.2 million.

Highlights of the half-yearly period include the renewal of three large contracts: the Tullamarine Freeway, the Sydney State Transit contract for Sydney Buses and the Adelaide Metro contract.

Most of the company's growth is in roadside billboards, which increased half-yearly revenue by 20% to $84.6 million.

Advertising revenue on transit, which includes buses and trams, dropped by 2% to $47.1 million, but this was a positive result as it doesn't have the same opportunity to convert to digital formats.

APN Outdoor's airport revenue was roughly the same as H1 2016, at $19 million. Meanwhile, rail was down 10% to $11.6 million.

APN Outdoor's EBITDA improved 7% to $37.2 million, offset by $3.4 million in cost of a failed merger with Ooh!Media as well as additional staff costs.

“Digital screen revenues continue to represent over one-third of Group revenues, and will continue to grow in line with demand and the Company’s focused growth strategy,” APN Outdoor CEO Richard Herring said.

“Over the longer-term, we see digital sites continuing to deliver greater yields. Notwithstanding the increase in digital screens and associated revenue, classic billboard revenue was resilient and performed better than expected in the first half.”

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