Southern Cross Austereo shares drop on weak advertising revenue

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 15 October 2019

Broadcast media group Southern Cross Austereo says September quarter revenue fell 8.5% compared to the same three months last year on a weak advertising market.

The company's shares fell 23% to $0.885 in early trade. At the close they were down 18.6% to $0.94. 

Southern Cross, in a trading udpate to the ASX, reported declines in both audio and television segments.

The advertising sector has been hit by a string negative factors this year including federal and state elections, the financial services royal commission and a contraction in housing and automotive markets.

Southern Cross believes it has consolidated advertising share gains from last year and is currently trading in line with media markets.

"Advertising markets remain short and volatile and SCA will continue to focus on maximising its market share while maintaining strict cost control across all divisions," the company says.

First quarter operating costs were $1 million below the September quarter last year, including one-off restructuring costs of $1.5 million related to the outsourcing of transmission services.

Southern cross says EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the first half is expected to be in the range of $60 million to $68 million.

"Cost discipline remains a core focus, and a series of actions have been taken to mitigate full year costs in response to adverse market conditions," the company says.

"The majority of these savings will be realised in the second half." 

In August the company posted full year revenue of $661 million, up just 0.5%, calling advertising conditions "challenging".

The statutory result was a loss of $91.3 million. However, the underlying net profit after tax was $76.2 million, up 3.1%, when stripping out impairments including the value of regional television licences.


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