Radio a ‘key strategic asset for APN’

Staff Writer

APN News & Media, who are now full owners of the Australian Radio Network (ARN) in Australia and The Radio Network (TRN) in New Zealand, have today held their AGM.

APN CEO Michael Miller outlined the performance of the company over the past 12 months.

"Radio is a key strategic asset for APN. We have furthered our investment in ARN and TRN because we are confident that radio will continue to grow as a medium and that ARN and TRN will continue to grow market share.

"The Company's earnings have been re-balanced towards growth assets, with over 55% of our earnings expected to derive from radio, outdoor and digital," said Miller.

Miller spoke about the recent ratings success in Australia where, for the first time, ARN was #1 FM in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.

In New Zealand, TRN has increased overall share in Auckland and Wellington and have the #1 national network in NewstalkZB. They have also recently launched The Hits (to replace Classic Hits) and have moved Polly & Grant from ZM while introducing Fletch, Vaughan & Megan to ZM breakfast.

Results for 2013 saw both ARN and TRN outperform their markets, with ARN delivering revenue growth of 6% compared to overall Australian radio market growth of 2% and TRN's revenues up 9% compared to overall New Zealand radio market growth of 7.7%.

Miller reported that as of today Group EBITDA is slightly behind where APN were at this time 12 months ago. "As an advertising industry, agency expenditure in both Australia and New Zealand has been flat and as a result our agency revenues have been below expectations, especially in publishing," he said.

"Significant investments in both Adshel and radio have been made for long term growth opportunities. Following the recent launch of Sydney Trains and the radio survey results, we have subsequently started to see the benefits of these initiatives."

He concluded by saying: "APN is on a journey. We are change positive, we are well positioned and we are focused. We are operating in a constantly changing environment, but with change comes opportunity and the opportunity for APN is now."

See the full AGM presentation here.


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