Southern Cross extends trading halt over pandemic

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 25 March 2020

Broadcaster Southern Cross Media Group has extended its trading halt called on Monday to assess the impact of the pandemic which dragged on an already weak advertising market. 

The company says it needs further time to "assess the impacts" of the COVID-19 crisis on its business and to make an announcement on actions being taken to address them. 

Southern Cross says it expects the voluntary suspension will be required until the start of normal trading on Friday, April 3.  

Its shares fell about one-third to $0.165 on Monday, a long way from the 12-month high of $1.430. 

The company's net debt, as reported in February, was $330.5 million, up 12%. The market capitalisation, based on the last traded share price, was $188.4 million.

In its half year results, Southern Cross posted an 8.2% fall in revenue to $308.11 million in a tough advertising market.

Net profit after tax was $20.4 million for the six months to December, up from a net loss of $119.3 million in the same half in the prior year.

Profit, excluding significant items, was down 32.7% to $26.62 million.

Outdoor media specialist oOh!media last week also went into a trading halt, saying it is considering a capital raising.

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