Seven's advertising slumps during COVID-19

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 25 August 2020

Seven West Media says its advertising revenue was "severely impacted" during the depths of the economic fallout from COIVID-19.

The media group today posted a full year statutory loss of $162 million with revenue down 14% to $1.23 billion.

Net profit after tax for continuing operations and excluding significant items was $40.8 million, down 66.1%.

Revenue was down by a third in the June quarter. 

However, Seven's transformation strategy is gaining momentum despite challenging markets.

“We continue to focus on transforming our business," says CEO James Warburton.

"Our objective is to establish a lean, efficient operating cost base to deliver further savings in the 2021 financial year and I am confident we will deliver our strategy and ambitions for the future.

"We have significant operating leverage with our lower cost base to provide greater upside on market recovery and drive significant value for our shareholders.”

The company has gained $170 million in cost savings and gathered $150 million from the proceeds from asset sales. Seven West  now has nmet debt of $398 million. 

Seven West says advertising market conditions remain volatile and unpredictable but the rate of decline has moderated since the June quarter.

The July free to air television market fell 15.8% Seven delivered a strong revenue share of 39%. 

“It’s been twelve months since I returned to Seven West Media and laid out our new strategy to transform the company. We have made material progress on our transformation plan despite the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at us," says Warburton.

"It has not changed our plan, but assisted us to accelerate the transformation. Our content led growth strategy which launched in June with Big Brother and was followed by Farmer Wants a Wife is delivering dramatically improved results for Seven.

"Combined with our daily content spine which is a dominant number 1 in Sunrise, The Morning Show, 7NEWS, The Chase, Home and Away, Better Homes and Gardens and Sport with the AFL and Horse Racing, our tentpole focus at 7.30pm Sunday to Tuesday is working, helping us win the content battle.

Seven has won 10 of the last 11 weeks of ratings. Our seamless Digital strategy with 7plus has also seen us transition from a distant number 2 to a dominant number 1 in the growing BVOD market.

"Real structural change is underway at The West. Generational change across regional and community mastheads is in motion, with a digital-first editorial focus. Digital subscribers have almost doubled to 60,000 over the last 12 months."


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