Radio delivers profit growth for APN

Staff Writer

APN News & Media, the parent company of the Australian Radio Network and NZME (formerly TRN), has released it's financial results for the 12 months to 31 December.

Overall Net Profit for APN is up strongly (+$15.2m), with the Australian radio division in particular recording strong growth. 

ARN recorded revenue growth of 18% to $180.9m, with EBITDA improving 14% to $66.5m; a record earnings result for the business. The report noted that agency revenue has been the big mover for ARN, improving 32% to $109.6m, a significant result for a business traditionally with a strong direct profile.

In New Zealand, the radio division of NZME improved revenue by 5% to $116.8m, with EBITDA growing 7% to $23.1m.

The growth was largely driven by an 8% increase in direct revenue. The financial results of NZME (radio) were impacted by a license auction held in December where the business spent $7m on securing new, or re-securing existing, FM licenses in various markets.

APN CEO Michael Miller commented:

"During 2014, our focus was on delivering enhanced earnings through investing in our growth assets of radio and outdoor, identifying synergies, generating cash flow and managing costs across all APN businesses.

We also continued with the integration of our businesses and diversification of our revenue streams, with a particular focus on digital revenues.

The full acquisition of ARN, TRN and our Hong Kong Outdoor businesses, as well as our acquisition of 96FM, reflect our confidence in outdoor and radio as growth mediums and our belief in the leadership of our business units to further maximise these now wholly owned companies.

This approach has proved fruitful with these businesses recording strong revenue and EBITDA growth year on year.

Under the leadership of Ciaran Davis, ARN has significantly increased its market share, and now has the largest audience of any metropolitan radio group in the country.

Through the formation of NZME, we have identified significant new revenue and cost saving opportunities. We are encouraged by the progress NZME’s newly installed management team, led by Jane Hastings, has made and are confident in its ability to accelerate the benefits from this integration process.

Despite the positive results the company has indicated it will not pay a dividend to shareholders, instead using the earnings to pay down debt.

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