Fairfax Media prepares to lodge Domain scheme booklet

Fairfax Media is moving closer to the listing of Domain, revealing challenges within its newspaper businesses remain ahead of lodging a scheme booklet for its property classifieds spin-off with the Australian Securities Exchange on Friday.

The trading update revealed overall group revenue is down 4-5 per cent since July 1, and was similar to the fall reported when the media company delivered its full-year results last month when it saw overall revenue for the first six weeks of the 2017-18 year down 4 per cent.

The update was required before the releasing of details of the Domain listing to the ASX.

Late on Thursday, Fairfax said Domain’s digital revenue was up 22 per cent in the 2017-18 year while total revenue has grown 13 per cent.

This was slightly down on August’s update, which showed digital revenue was up 26 per cent and total revenue up 16 per cent; however, Fairfax warned the comparisons were affected by the unusually weak listings environment experienced in July 2016 because of the federal election.

In August, Fairfax said Domain’s digital revenue was expected to be up around 22 per cent across 2017-18, consistent with Thursday’s update.

Fairfax reiterated the guidance it gave in August that Domain’s costs would increase 13 per cent in 2017-18 to $206 million.

Revenue in metro media, which houses The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, is down 10 per cent, regional  and  New Zealand revenues have also  fallen 10 per cent, and Macquarie Media revenue is down 4 per cent.

During the 2016-17 financial year overall revenue was down 4.8 per cent. Across Fairfax segments metro media revenue slipped 9 per cent, regional revenue fell 11 per cent, New Zealand revenue was down 7 per cent and Macquarie Media revenue was off 1 per cent.

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