Seven West Media managed to keep its revenue steady last financial year despite challenging trading conditions, the company’s annual results revealed this morning.
Revenue for the year ending June 24 fell just 2.7 per cent to $1.67 billion but Seven West Media posted a loss of $744.3 million courtesy of almost $1 billion in writedowns, including a $432.4 million revision of the value of the company’s television licence.
The company, which publishes The West Australian, bettered its forecast for earnings before interest and tax. EBIT of $261.4 million was down 17.8 per cent, compared with guidance of minus 20 per cent.
EBIT in 2018 is forecast to be 5 per cent down on 2017.
Managing director and chief executive Tim Worner said the impairments came amid revised growth assumptions.
“We continue to lead in the core markets in which we compete, while at the same time making the necessary and sometimes difficult decisions in the transformation of our business,” Mr Worner said.
The company believes digital revenue will double this financial year and cost cuts, which will be $50 million deeper this year than last, are expected to more than offset the increasing cost of broadcasting the AFL.
The Seven Network increased revenue to $1.281 billion from $1.259 billion for EBIT of $249.7 million. It continued to dominate ratings and reported that its audience share jumped 1.2 per cent, driven by the Rio Olympics.
Seven Studios, Australia’s biggest production house, made revenue of $97 million, up 11 per cent.
The company’s digital assets drove four billion online videos, with Seven West claiming 45 per cent of advertising revenue attached to long-form and live online video.
The West Australian reported that circulation revenue was up 6.3 per cent to $59.4 million. The division reported EBIT of $26 million last year, down from $39.2 million in 2016.
Seven West made a $184.3 million profit in the 2017 financial year.
The company will pay a final dividend of 2¢ a share, fully franked.