Nine posts a loss but says the market poised to recover

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 27 August 2020
Hugh Marks

Nine Entertainment's revenue lifted 17% to $2.17 billion for the full year but the media company posted a $508.78 million loss mainly on impairment of goodwill.

Excluding special items, profit fell 17% to $155.4 million for the year to June. 

“2020 was no doubt a challenging year," says CEO Hugh Marks. 

"The results of the strategic growth decisions we have made over the past 5 years, have played out at scale across the year and, as a result, sheltered us from the worst of the market impact of COVID-19.

"Our focus on the growth platforms in the market – primarily digitally based, and video-centric – has paid off." 

He says advertising market conditions remain challenging through the start of the current financial year.

However, the market is performing ahead of earlier expectations, and appears poised to recover when the COVID conditions stabilise.

At this stage, Nine’s September quarter free-to-air television revenues are expected to be down about 15%, reflecting the continued weakness in advertising markets. 

In the year, streaming media platform Stan was a stand out, with revenue up 54% to $242.1 million and subscribers at  2.2million.

Nine's digital and publishing division revenue was down 9% to $525.2 million. 

Broadcast was down 11% to $1.136 billion. 

Marks says the current market conditions have only given greater cause to continue to evolve the positioning of the business.

"Particularly the migration to digital – clearly evident across both our publishing and video assets," he says.

"We will continue to drive growth in our increasingly prominent digital businesses while, at the same time, maximizing the performance of our traditional media assets.

"We are confident that this current period of adversity will only make us stronger. We believe we have the right strategy, the right assets and the right people, as well as a strong balance sheet, to ensure Nine’s position at the forefront of the media sector for many years to come." 

The company announced a fully franked dividend of 2 cents a share, taking the full shareholder payout to 7 cents. 

 The 2020 numbers:

nine full year 2020

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