HT&E's outdoor business booms in full 2017 results

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 16 February 2018

HT&E, formerly known as APN News & Media, has reported a significant lift in revenue for FY17 driven by the acquisitions of Adshel and Conversant Media in October 2016.

Its revenue increased 58% year-on-year to $472.3 million up from $298.6 million, with $161 million in revenue attributed to Adshel and Conversant Media in its first full year results since its rebrand in May 2017.

HT&E CEO Ciaran Davis admitted that 2017 had its challenges, but said the business ended with “strong momentum” in its radio and outdoor businesses.

Its radio business, ARN, reported a 0.6% fall in revenue for the full year, but growth for the second half of the year hit 5.1%. EBITDA was down 2.7% to $2.3 million.

The company boasted its best ratings year in history, holding the number one and number two FM stations, as well as the number one and number to FM breakfast shows, with KIIS 106.5's Kyle and Jackie O and WSFM's Jonesy & Amanda.

While HT&E’s radio business is recovering, its outdoor business saw a stronger and more 2017 with Adshel posting a revenue growth of 7.5% to $221.3 million and EBITDA growing 11.3% to $51.5 million.

Digital revenue accounted for 30% of Adshel’s revenue and further investment is being made in this area to drive future growth.

In October last year Adshel lost the Yarra Trams contract to JCDecaux, which the business says affected its momentum in the fourth quarter.

“Adshel continued to outperform in the market in terms of revenue share and we are actively pursuing new contacts, and have already secured the Metro Trains Melbourne contract for seven years,” Davis said.

Adshel is predicting advertiser appetite to grow in 2018, driven by increased digitisation, particularly in the street furniture segment.

HT&E's social content agency Emotive had a successful year with earnings up 24% in 2017, while Conversant Media suffered at the hands of a soft digital display inventory market, delivering revenue of $4.2 million and EBITDA of $0.3 million.

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