Fairfax Media updates on Domain, posts profit lift

Fairfax Media has provided new details on the planned spin-off of its Domain business as it delivered a $97 million net profit for the full year 

The result, released on Wednesday, compares to a significant loss ($59 million) the previous year when Fairfax Media wrote down the value of its newspaper mastheads by nearly $1 billion. 

“Today’s result shows Fairfax is in great shape,” chief executive Greg Hywood told the market on Wednesday morning. 

“We have delivered strong value for shareholders through growth and transformation initiatives. The strategy we commenced five years ago has successfully maximised cash flows of our publishing assets and with that built growth businesses in Domain and Stan.”

The group achieved headline pre-tax earnings of $146 million compared to a $1.01 billion loss last year.

Once adjusted for significant items the company’s net profit was up from $142 million to $156 million.

The net cost of significant items of $59 million include $29 million impairment of intangibles, plant and equipment and $33 million in redundancy costs.

Revenue was also down from $1.83 billion to of $1.74 billion. 

“As we enter [the current financial year], our immediate focus is on the successful separation of Domain, an initiative we believe demonstrates the success of our strategy and will deliver our shareholders great value over time,” Mr Hywood said. 

The company has also outlined more of its plans for the spin-off of its real estate business Domain.

Current Fairfax Media chairman Nick Falloon will be Domain’s chairman and Fairfax is now expected to retain a 60 per cent stake in the newly listed Domain.

The company expects to have a scheme booklet into the market in late September followed by an investor roadshow in October and then a shareholder vote at an extraordinary general meeting in early November.

Fairfax Media will pay a final dividend of 2 cents per share, fully franked. 

More to come

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