Nine Entertainment has posted a turnaround in earnings, swinging to a $184 million annual profit after lifting advertising revenues across its major businesses.
It had reported a $575 million a year earlier when advertising earnings slumped as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
The media giant, which operates Channel 9, streaming service Stan and capital city mastheads The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review said revenue for the 12 months to June 30 was up eight per cent to $2.34 billion.
Despite the gains, Nine shares were down 7.7 per cent at $2.75 by 1130 AEST.
Earnings before, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) jumped 43 per cent to $564.7 million, driven by a sharp rebound in advertising revenue at its broadcast television business.
"Whilst this growth was consistent across both halves, the drivers in each half were quite different, highlighting the strength of Nine's mix of advertising and subscription-based assets," Chief Executive Mike Sneesby said.
Its broadcast business, which includes television and radio, saw earnings surge 69 per cent to $332.5 million.
The group's newspaper publishing division expanded earnings by 25 per cent to $117.2 million, thanks to growth in digital subscriptions and licence revenue and despite an 18 per cent decline in retail newspaper sales.
The company's radio arm suffered from a declining radio advertising market, while print ad sales also fell 10 per cent to $97.3 million.
Earnings at streaming service Stan were up 27 per cent to $39.5 million, while those at online property classifieds business Domain increased 17.5 per cent to $100.6 million.
"While this past year has proven challenging, we have been able to establish the base to execute on our longer term strategy. Our Television and Publishing businesses have both reached critical inflexion points," Mr Sneesby said.
He said there was strong momentum across all the business in the current financial year. Nine said free-to-air ad revenue was up 20 per cent during the September quarter, and expects this trend to continue into the next quarter.
Nine radio revenue is also up in double-digit terms.
The company will pay a fully-franked final dividend of 5.5 cents per share, down from 7.0 cents a year ago. That will bring total dividend for the year to 10.5 cents per share.