Full year results for HT&E released
Revenue for ARN is up from $171.5m last year to $195.6m, according to HT&E’s 2021 financial report.
ARN’s EBITA is up to $53.8m from $46.0m in 2020, while digital revenue grew by $3.1m to $9.4m.
Podcast downloads are up by 64%.
The full-year results for HT&E give the company a Net Cash of $189.1m.
During the year the company settled its long-running taxation dispute with the ATO for $70.7m, and purchased the 46 regional stations from Grant Broadcasters, which will now be known as ARN Regional, for $307.5m.
Dividends were reinstalled in June 2021 with an interim dividend of 3.5 cents, and an additional final dividend of 3.9 cents has now been added.
The accredited share buyback also continued through the year with over 3 million shares (1.1%) bought at an average of $1.66.
HT&E CEO & Managing Director, Ciaran Davis, says, “We have made excellent progress in executing our strategy to build Australia’s best broadcast radio and digital audio company.
“The investments in our strategic priorities are delivering as we continue to build a media business offering the scale of audience, multi-platform content, increasing data targeting capabilities, and ease of transaction for our partners.
“Our rating success across our metropolitan network was outstanding throughout 2021, driven by a commitment to recruiting and retaining the best Australian talent, with ARN maintaining its dominant market position as the #1 network for over two years.
“The acquisition of 46 radio stations from Grant Broadcasters is strategically compelling, creating a high-quality footprint across the whole of Australia and will accelerate future growth to maximise shareholder value. It provides access to increasingly important and growing regional audiences, enhances ARN’s ability to deliver content across multiple platforms, and capitalises on the shift towards digital audio consumption.
“We have always taken a strategic approach to investing and with the growth of digital audio accelerating, in particular podcasting, we will continue to focus on our capability and content to retain our leadership position and meet the increasing advertiser demand. We are also investing in the creation of a new national youth brand as we believe youth culture is an under-served genre in commercial radio.”
Highlights for ARN include
- #1 broadcast ratings position maintained
- Audience growth delivered across all key markets
- Sydney duopoly of KIIS and WSFM continues to deliver, WSFM finishing #1FM, closely followed by KIIS at #2FM in the final survey of 2021
- ARN remains the #1 podcast publisher, leadership position held for 20 consecutive months
- Consumer appetite for podcasts continues to accelerate, with more than half a billion podcasts downloaded in 2021
- Increasing advertiser demand delivering consistent monthly podcast billings to customers approaching $1 million
- Investment in podcasting capability and content, ARN to launch original shows anchored back to audio brands
- Relaunch and accelerate The Edge as a national youth brand reflecting under-served genre of youth culture in commercial radio
- “Australian Radio Network” brand evolved, replaced with “ARN”.
HT&E has also seen growth in its podcast offerings. Of the top 10 most listened to podcast titles, ARN represented four, with in excess of 4.9 million combined monthly listeners and close to 20 million monthly downloads.
The Kyle & Jackie O Show podcast remains the #1 radio catch-up podcast in the country with close to 17 million downloads across the whole of 2021.
With increasing advertiser demand delivering consistent monthly podcast billings to customers approaching close to $1 million, in 2022 we will launch several ARN original shows, anchored back to our highly successful audio brands.
ARN will relaunch and accelerate The Edge as a national youth brand distributed on iHeartRadio, broadcast radio, and DAB+, anchored in hip hop and RnB, driven by content, and reflective of an under-served genre of youth culture in commercial radio.