‘Merge Radio’ Rinehart tells Fairfax
Following the release of their half-yearly financials yesterday, Fairfax Media had their biggest day on the stock market in years, soaring 30% in intraday trade, before closing 23% up.
This was despite revenue for the group falling overall, and the Fairfax Radio EBITDA being down nearly 10% on pcp (see here).
Following the financials, Gina Rineharts advisor, John Klepec (pictured), has slammed Fairfax Media, and reiterated their view that the radio investment needs to be overhauled.
"Of course we're happy that the share price has gone up today, who wouldn't be, although the decline in revenue is disappointing. They (Fairfax) continue to move at glacial speed on key areas of revenue growth and value creative mergers that have synergies like the radio assets."
Rinehart owns 14.99% of Fairfax through her company Hancock, and has previously supported either a divesting of radio, or a merger with the Macquarie Radio Network.
John Klepec has gone on the record previously saying he believes that a merger between Fairfax Radio and Macquarie is a no-brainer:
"It defies belief that if one and one equals three why that hasn't been transacted. Any commercial deal where one and one equals three and is of benefit to the shareholders we’re absolutely in favour of."
In the Fairfax Media results yesterday, there was no mention of any merger talks with Macquarie.
Notwithstanding a softening radio performance, Fairfax Media's CEO Greg Hywood was bullish on the future, saying that they expect the programming changes across the group to translate into revenue and earnings growth in the next few months.