The West

ConsMedia posts 15.6pc profit slide
ConsMedia posts 15.6pc profit slide

Consolidated Media Holdings says it expects to sign a deed relating to a $2 billion takeover deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd within six weeks.

The media company, which holds a 25 per cent stake in pay TV provider Foxtel and half of Fox Sports, made the comments as it unveiled a fall in full year net profit.

CMH said a number of pre-conditions to the deal remained outstanding, including the finalisation of due diligence and approvals from the board of News Corporation and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

"CMH presently expects that these pre-conditions will be satisfied and the scheme implementation deed will be finally negotiated and signed during the next six weeks, which will allow for completion of the indicative proposal, subject to shareholder and court approvals and any other remaining conditions, in the final quarter of calendar 2012," CMH said in a statement on Tuesday.

"However, CMH is not in a position to give any assurance either that the scheme implementation deed will be finally agreed and signed or that the indicative proposal will proceed."

The comments come after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on August 2 approved the takeover.

The deal would enable Mr Murdoch to take control of CMH's 25 per cent stake in pay TV provider Foxtel and its half of Fox Sports.

News already owns 25 per cent of Foxtel and half of Fox Sports.

Consolidated Media's update on its deal with News came as it reported a 15.6 per cent slide in net profit to $85.8 million for the year to June 30 compared to $101.7 million in 2010/11.

The result was hit by costs linked to Foxtel's acquisition of regional pay TV group Austar in May.

Excluding the acquisition costs, CMH's operating net profit was $97.9 million.

CMH said Foxtel's contribution to CMH's earnings rose by $4.4 million to $42 million, while Fox Sport's fell by $2.1 million to $49.4 million.

"The underlying results for each of our subscription television investments were solid again this year in spite of the tough consumer environment and slow subscriber growth," CMH executive chairman John Alexander said.

CMH maintained its fully-franked final dividend at six cents a share.

CMH's shares were steady at $3.44 at 9.20am.

The West Australian

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