Regional radio helps push SCA total profits up by over 40%
It’s a good day for Southern Cross Austereo according to CEO Grant Blackley, with the group reporting a full-year profit of $108.6 million.
Having revised earnings guidance, SCA’s bottom line improved by 40.5 per cent compared to the previous financial year, boosted by savings made through one-off items including the licence fee abolition.
Regional radio continues to be a strong performer for the group, with advertising revenues of $165.4 million, up 2 per cent on 2016, while the metropolitan free-to-air radio advertising market was relatively weak throughout 2017, declining 0.2 per cent on the 2016 financial year.
Blackley believes that while he’s happy with the results overall, there’s always room for improvement.
“We’re not resting on our laurels – in actual fact we are obviously looking to move into high-growth sectors and in time, have obviously a large presence and meaningful impact in those sectors,” he told Radio Today.
“A lot of the work that we’ve done in the last 12 months, with rebranding, with improvements in our content, investment in our marketing, most importantly the monetisation of all of those assets – I think we’re laying a foundation for our future.”
In terms of revenue generated by metro and regional markets, the latter was well ahead. The regional segment generated 9.3% revenue growth – compared to just 2% for metro.
“I think we have to take note that the metro market is cycling over some solid gains from the prior year,” Blackley added.
“We would obviously like to see more growth in metro, but we’re a very balanced company and to that end I must say that we’re pleased with our regional radio assets. But I think the best is yet to come from those regional assets.”
The news comes off the back of the announcement that SCA is moving into the out-of-home market with a new digital deal with property owners QIC.