APN points to advertising recovery in key markets
Australian media company APN, in which Independent News and Media has a 32pc stake, yesterday posted a 4.9pc rise in revenues for the first half of the year.
The company said a recovery in advertising markets helped lift its net profit before exceptionals to A$40m, (€28m), a rise of 11pc compared to the same period a year earlier.
The interim results for the six months ending June 30 showed revenue of A$508.3m on a like- for-like basis, while earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was up 19pc to A$87.1m.
"The advertising recovery is well and truly under way. The second quarter saw strong growth, with total revenue up 8pc and EBIT up 22pc on a like-for-like basis," outgoing APN chief executive Brendan Hopkins said.
"In Australia, we are already seeing our markets recovering from the global financial crisis. The recovery in New Zealand is yet to achieve the same pace, however it is pleasing to report that the second quarter was significantly better than the first quarter and, looking ahead, we see encouraging trends for August and September," he added.
APN owns newspapers, radio and outdoor advertising interests, including the 'New Zealand Herald' newspaper.
"Across all of our operations, we believe the second half will continue the trends seen in the second quarter and anticipate a strong end to the year.
"The fourth quarter is traditionally our best period and forward bookings are encouraging," Mr Hopkins said.
He said APN had now established a group-wide multi-media content, product and strategy resource that focuses on each of its markets and will be the engine for future growth of its overall business.
"We continue to position ourselves as the leading multi-media operator in each of our local markets and are making good progress in convincing more and more advertisers that APN's existing and future range of media products provides them with a unique way of communicating with their markets."
The company declared an interim dividend of five cents per share.