Radio and podcasting grow Southern Cross Austereo earnings by 6.1%

Staff Writer

The growing strength of Southern Cross Austereo’s metro radio and podcast divisions saw first-half earnings in the six months to December 31 up 6.1% to $82.9 million.

But net losses tallied $119.3 million, after a $37.5 million profit in the same period a year before.

The SCA audio business division – which incorporates metro and regional radio and podcasting – had a 3.8% spike in revenue and a 7.3% expansion in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

CEO Grant Blackley reported, “SCA outperformed in each sector and strong and disciplined cost controls were evident.”

Audio expenses grew by 2.1%, he noted.

SCA operates 80-plus radio stations across its Triple M and Hit networks.

Metro radio had revenue growth of 6.7% to $123.6 million while regional radio posted $95.3 million, up 0.7%.

Podcast revenue grew 400%, with the company says its road to monetisation was improving.

“SCA’s new national structure and workforce planning initiatives are starting to pay dividends,” says Blackey.

“The streamlined business and decision-making processes are delivering operating efficiencies and improved cost control.”

He also attributed educating advertisers to the advantages of radio for financial growth.

Revenue was up 0.2% to $335.7 million.

However, the company also posted a net loss of $120.3 million hit by a drop in TV revenue and a write-down of its television assets.

Dividing its regional division into TV and audio led to a one-off non-cash impairment of $226.9 million.

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Peter Johnson
21 Feb 2019 - 7:20 pm

2DAY still pay their announcers too much. Why would they pay Hughsey and Kate $2 million each when this is not translating to ratings, especially in Sydney.

Kyle and Jackie O are worth the big bucks because they take audience with them. Hughsey and Kate do not.

Don Draper
22 Feb 2019 - 4:31 am

Re podcast revenue being on the road to monetisation (and improving) implies it’s not yet monetised… and so podcast performance (the headline) is not really driving earnings at all is it?

Also, the constant bundling of products, revenue and cost categories across industry are making the financials of each network harder to interpret.

Not sure how a split of regional divisions results in an impairment charge of a quarter of a billion dollars?

22 Feb 2019 - 11:12 am

Seems to be a lot of smoke and mirrors here. Can’t see how metro radio revenue is up. And what about metro profit ?
Let’s compare apples to apples. And why is he always spruking podcasting there’s no money in it, no barrier to entry and erodes his FM listenership.
Can SCA please come clean with market and stop the bullshit. Reminds me of that old saying ‘ bullshit baffles brains ‘

Michael W
22 Feb 2019 - 11:15 am

SCA will have a weaker second half. The first half is always stronger because of Christmas & retail. And still not a very good result these guys have 80 radio stations should be performing better. I hope their sales teams are paid a lot because they have had to sell some average product.

Ben Ford
22 Feb 2019 - 12:01 pm

Mr Blackley ought to be congratulated. His vision on podcasting should be praised. And since he has been there nearly 4 years now he has turned around the Triple M network and has revolutionised regional radio almost single handedly. He has got rid of the rotting wood and there are green shoots sprouting at SCA. Good to have a media person in charge, it’s refreshing after the old school radio types like Rhys and Dobbo. I expect he will further advance the merits of radio and will help the radio industry increase its share of revenue as Chair of CRA.

22 Feb 2019 - 1:36 pm

Great idea ! Let’s turn a radio company into a podcast company. Yippee!

22 Feb 2019 - 2:09 pm

Talent costs and payouts must have impacted SCA earnings last few years- Rove McManus, Em Rusciano, Grant Denyer none of these have worked. SCA should hire Kyle and Jackie back since all the execs responsible for losing them in the first place have now gone.

22 Feb 2019 - 2:45 pm

Blackers has turned around Triple M from working class, blue collar, beer drinking, Ute driving men to working class, blue collar, spirit drinking, Ute driving men.

Gurl Please
22 Feb 2019 - 3:08 pm

Sorry for the language, but it’s this kind of bullsh*t twisting of stats that tars the entire industry with the same brush.
Podcast revenue is up 400% (from what…nothing?!)…but on the road to monetisation (i.e making NO profit!)

Just be honest with advertisers/agencies and they will buy into podcasts…. Stop the d*ck swinging for the sake of nothing

Head of Creative Accounting
22 Feb 2019 - 7:38 pm

Surely the impairment charge is so Southern Cross Austereo don’t pay any corporate tax for a while. The ATO needs to have a bloody good look at the books of some of these radio networks.

The irony here is this industry mob has the audacity to take on the tech giants and complain to Government when Facebook, Google etc encroach their advertising revenues and supposedly avoid paying appropriate Australian tax…. when the media companies here at home, use asset write-downs to pay none at all…

The pot calling the kettle Blackley.

25 Feb 2019 - 10:38 am

Mr Blackley has at least restored confidence at SCA and thats a good thing. The network is going better than the last few years.


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