The Resilience Of Radio: Debunking HT&E’s financial results

Staff Writer

Australian Radio Network’s parent company HT&E has released it’s full-year financial results, shedding light on how the company has been tracking over the past 12-months.

It reveals ARN is in a healthy position in competitive times with revenue growth of 3.5% in 2019; 5.9% in H1 and 1.3% in H2, while EBITDA is up just 1% to $84.6m (margin maintained at 36%).

It also shows ARN experience the highest average ratings year ever with particular dominance in Sydney thanks to its #1 and #2 breakfast shows.

In Melbourne, Gold in the #2 station while KIIS 101.1 is gaining momentum with the company aspiring to be the #1 national radio network.

HT&E chairman Hamish McLennan paid tribute to the executive team.

“Senior Management is dedicated to operational excellence across our radio operations and making sure we have the right people and structures in place is of paramount importance.

“As part of this approach, corporate cost reduction and simplification of the Company is an important focus for the Board.”

McLennan also references the strength of the Australian radio industry.

“The radio industry remains one of the most resilient sectors of Australia media and I expect it to remain so in the foreseeable future. Against this backdrop, we are ideally positioned to drive strong ongoing performance for shareholders.

“HT&E’s strong balance sheet, together with ARN and a number of emerging digital investments, means we are one of the most exciting media businesses in Australia.”

HT&E CEO and MD, Ciaran Davis, further expands on the company’s position and the ratings performance of its stations.

“ARN implemented a strategy focused on ratings growth and commercial success in 2018 and ended the year experiencing growth across a number of FM stations, culminating in the highest average ratings in the history of the Company.

“It’s never been a better time to invest in audio and 2019 will see HT&E focus on ARN’s broadcast, digital, social and streaming suite of assets with a clear vision to create the future of audio entertainment.

“We have put plans in place to deliver increasing value for shareholders by driving and delivering operational performance across the group.”

The report also gives a snapshot of station performances in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, while confirming key on-air talent have been locked in for at least the next two years across the KIIS and Pure Gold networks.

As for the Future of Audio Entertainment, ARN’s vision is to create the future of audio entertainment in Australia with iHeart radio a key component as a driver of audio content.

“ARN’s ambition is to create a future for audio entertainment that resonated with both listeners and advertisers,” says Davis.

“We have strong digital platforms that are growing in relevance and we are making investments in new technologies and data that sit alongside our key radio brands to better engage and influence audience behaviour and advertiser solutions.”

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