Nine lifts profit and keeps up dividends in a pandemic

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 24 February 2021

Nine Entertainment recorded just a 2% dip to $1.163 billion in revenue in the six months to December despite the pandemic.

The media group also maintained its divdends to shareholders at an interim 5 cents a share. 

Net profit of $178 million was 69% better than the same six months the year before.

“Our business has performed incredibly well through this period of heightened volatility, and has come out the other side in a very strong operating position," says CEO Hugh Marks.

"We acted swiftly when circumstances changed, whilst continuing to embrace opportunity and remain true to our vision - of building Australia’s leading cross-platform media business.

"In these latest six months, the combined contribution from Stan and 9Now, and the digital components of Domain and Publishing grew by 53% to more than $140m, and, notwithstanding the strong recovery in earnings from our traditional markets, equated to 41% of our total EBITDA.

"From an advertising perspective, this latest half year was a tale of two quarters. The advertising market clearly turned in late September, earlier and more sharply than we had anticipated, and this was led by Television, both Free To Air and BVOD.

"The brand-building strength of these segments underpinned clear growth in market share overall for the Television industry, that has continued into the first quarter of 2021.

"Nine’s consistently strong audience performance, across all of o ur platforms, means we are well positioned to benefit from this improvement in the ad cycle.

"The lessons we have learned from COVID are clear. Our focus on strict cost efficiency at our traditional media assets delivered the profitability we were targeting.

"And continued investment in our digital businesses is delivering strong digital profit growth. Together, enabling us to continue to migrate the business to a more flexible, digital-base.

"Moreover, the accelerated growth in businesses like Stan and 9Now, as well as our digital publishing mastheads, has enabled us to bring forward our longer term plans. And importantly has enhanced our competitive position across all segments. This will enable us to continue to invest in our audiences to ensure continued growth into the future."

nine half year to dec 2020

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