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Seven West profit soars after takeover
Seven West profit soars after takeover

UPDATE 2.45pm Seven West Media has revealed a beefed-up board as it handed down its first full-year profit since the merger of West Australian Newspapers and Seven Media Group.

Three new directors have been appointed, venture capitalist Michelle Deaker, investment adviser and Essendon Football Club chairman David Evans and Ryan Stokes, son of Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes.

The appointments increase the board to nine non-executive directors and new managing director Don Voelte.
Seven West simultaneously disclosed a $226.9 million annual net profit on revenues of $1.94 billion.

The result included earnings before interest and tax [EBIT] of $473.4 million, in line with the company's revised forecast in July.

Despite a tough overall advertising market, Mr Voelte said the group margin of 24.2 per cent reflected the strength of Seven West's businesses, which straddle the Channel 7 free-to-air television network,
The West Australian newspaper and magazine and digital media.
The results were the first for a full 12-month period since the merger in the first half of last year.

The television business accounts for the lion's share of Seven West, reporting EBIT of $291 on revenue of $1.26 billion.

WA Newspapers returned $116.2 million, with tight cost control offsetting a 1.2 per cent fall in circulation revenue and a 6.5 per cent drop in advertising revenue.

Given the tough environment, some media companies including News Corp have cut their value of their assets.

Seven West said there was no need to write down the value of its interests as at June 30, but it warned there was "little headroom" between carrying value and recoverable value for a number of assets.

In presentation slides released with the results, Seven West said the advertising market was "expected to continue to trend below" last financial year in the short term and that it would "relentlessly" pursue cost savings across its businesses.

Mr Voelte has previously said the savings program would focus on "back office" functions.

Seven West declared a lower dividend of 6 cents a share.

Shares closed up two cents at $1.485.