2GB and 3AW parent Macquarie Media lifts profit

• After poor ratings and revenue performance, Talking Lifestyle network under review

Radio broadcaster Macquarie Media released its December half results this week, noting underlying EBITDA up 21% on prior year. Underlying profit after tax was up 11% on prior year.

MORE: Adam Lang taking over as CEO Macquarie Media, Russell Tate to chair the board

Macquarie Media reported a 2% increase in total revenue largely driven by an increase in core radio revenue.

Commenting on the results, Macquarie Media Limited soon-to-step-back executive chairman Russell Tate said that underlying earnings (EBITDA) grew for the fifth consecutive half-year since the formation of MML following the merger of Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) and Fairfax Radio Network (FRN) in 2015.

“Our HY2018 earnings (EBITDA) growth of 21% over the prior corresponding period maintains the earnings momentum we’ve enjoyed since the merger, and which in FY2017 had increased annual earnings (EBITDA) by 97% over pre-merger levels,” said Tate.

“We have continued to realise cost saving and efficiency opportunities across the business but we have also seen strong and sustained growth in our core radio revenues from late in the first quarter of FY18.

“Accordingly, the outlook for the second half is quite positive and we will continue to explore new opportunities for revenue generation from our core radio output, particularly in the digital space where we will be trialling new initiatives during the second half.

“We will also complete over the next few weeks an operational review of the Talking Lifestyle format which was introduced onto our Sydney station 2UE in September 2016 and subsequently networked onto our Magic music stations in Melbourne and Brisbane in March 2017.

“The ratings performance of these stations, particularly in Melbourne and Brisbane, has not met expectations in the first half of FY18. The stations contributed around 7% of MML core radio revenues in HY18 and any format changes will not materially impact FY2018 earnings.”

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