Friday 24 January 2020

INM jumps 10pc as Australian unit APN puts disasters behind


Peter Flanagan

AUSTRALASIAN media company APN yesterday said "second half trading showed a marked improvement over the first half", as it posted full year profits forecasts. This gave INM shares a boost, closing up almost 10pc in Dublin.

In a statement to coincide with its investor conference, the media group, which is almost 31pc owned by Independent News & Media, said it expected net profit after tax to be between A$75m and A$77m.

The company, which runs an outdoor advertising business and counts a number of radio stations and regional newspapers in Australia and New Zealand including the best selling 'New Zealand Herald' among its portfolio, said trading for the second half of the year had been "significantly better" than the first half which was impacted by a series of natural disasters including the flooding in Queensland and the earthquake in New Zealand.

"Whilst the direct impact of these events has dissipated, the second half result is behind the prior year due to the well reported weakness in advertising markets in Australia and New Zealand," the company said.

Earnings before interest and tax for the year is expected to be between A$171m and A$173m. The company's results for the second half have also been impacted by the weakness in the New Zealand dollar, down almost 5pc since August.

Company chief executive Brett Chenoweth said that while markets had been tougher than would have been liked, the firm had made "material progress in repositioning APN".

"In a competitive environment, we have gained market share in Outdoor and in both our Australian and New Zealand radio businesses. These businesses are well positioned for further growth in 2012.

"Our emerging digital businesses are beginning to contribute meaningful digital revenue streams for APN and the digital culture across the group is building. Our cost management is vigilant and we have exceeded the cost reduction targets flagged in April. APN is driving further productivity across the group as the company prepares for 2012," he added.

Irish Independent

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