Challenging market conditions dragged on revenue at HT&E's Australian Radio Network (ARN), falling 3.8% to $115.0 million in the half year to June.
However, the company says its absolute focus is still on the core radio business which is "highly cash generative with exceptional margins".
First quarter revenue performance was weak, dropping 5% behind the same three months in 2018.
"Conditions improved somewhat early in the second quarter, before softening following the federal election," the company says.
"Despite this, second quarter revenue was in line with strong prior year comps, and ahead of the market’s 1.7% decline."
The Australian radio market deteriorated post the federal election, and the company say this has continued into the third quarter.
"Short bookings suggest the market could be down mid-single percent in the quarter," the company says. "Recent improvement in briefing activity is being observed for possible Q4 bookings."
Ciaran Davis, HT&E CEO, says the network is hitting record numbers every week.
"We have maintained our winning edge, retaining the number one and two FM breakfast shows in Sydney, and KIIS 101.1 in Melbourne recording its highest station audience since 2014," he says.
"We are continuing to focus on growing ratings and gaining market share by recruiting and retaining the best radio talent in Australia.
“Broadcast radio remains our core business, and the big opportunity to transform from a radio offering to an audio business. We already deliver the most complete audio solution in Australia and our digital platforms that extend audience reach are an important part of this. With our iHeartRadio platform we lead the market and are investing in technology and data capability for targeted advertising to generate growth.”
iHeartRadio app downloads are now more than 1.9 million.
All the first half numbers for ARN:
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