The West

Ten sees tough ad market continuing
Ten sees tough ad market continuing

Ten Network chairman Brian Long says conditions in the advertising market are still difficult and were expected to remain so, although December has provided some encouraging signs.

Mr Long said the changes to the network structure, strategy and cost profile meant the company expected costs for fiscal 2012 would be "no higher than our costs in 2011", in comments similar to guidance issued at the company's full year results presentation in October.

"Since June, the metropolitan advertising market has been soft, and although there are signs of a slight recovery for December, trading remains tough, with very limited visibility," Mr Long told shareholders in prepared remarks.

"We expect these difficult conditions to continue, certainly in the near term, and while we are optimistic about the future, revenue success will be largely influenced by consumer confidence.

"Our projections for growth are modest and in line with analyst views."

In October, Ten reported net profit of $14.18 million for the 12 months to August 31, 2011.

The result, which included $85.4 million of restructuring costs, was down 90.5 per cent from the prior corresponding period.

The television and outdoor advertising company said at its full year results presentation the benefits of an operational and strategic review only started to flow in the final months of fiscal 2011.

Ten said in October it expected costs, excluding selling costs, to be flat in the current year.

Ten interim chief executive Lachlan Murdoch told shareholders that the Ten business was "stuffed" and heading in the wrong direction with a "flawed" strategy before the changes were made.

In addition to turning the all-sport digital channel ONE into a general entertainment plus sport channel and adding new news programs at breakfast time, Mr Murdoch also cut staff numbers by about 12 per cent to reduce costs.

The AGM was Mr Murdoch's last as interim chief executive, with former Seven Network chief sales and digital officer James Warburton to take over on January 1, 2012.

Ten shares were up one cent, or 1.09 per cent, to 93 cents at 8.20am.

The West Australian

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