Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon has declared Australia’s independent media company to be in “good shape” despite posting a net loss after tax of $63.8 million in today’s full-year results.
The company, which will face merger scrutiny over coming months as it steps into marriage plans with Nine, records net profit after tax of $124.9 million compared with $142.6 million in the prior financial year.
The company states that the losses are owed to restructuring and redundancy charges, as well as impairment charges at Australian Community Media (ACM) and Stuff.
The loss is tempered however by some buoyant figures emanating from the company’s success stories: Domain and Stan, which contributed to a solid 2018 income of $1,684 million, just 3% lower than 2017.
Domain – now headed up by ex-Google chief, Jason Pellegrino, and an ASX-listed business since November 2017, boasts a 12% increase in total revenue, with underlying EBITDA reaching $117,567m. Stan meanwhile has seen subscribers grow by 1.1m with subscription revenue up 72%.
Looking to the future, Falloon says, “The proposed merger of Fairfax and Nine brings together aligned strategies of using expanded audiences and marketing inventory to drive growth.”
He adds, “Fairfax’s proud 187-year history of journalism, editorial independence and integrity would carry on, having gained a stronger and more sustainable position for the future.”
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