Aussie News Publisher APN Profits Rise to $56m

19 August 2004

Australian newspaper and radio operator APN News & Media unveiled a 25% rise in half-year profit to $56 million (€45.4m; £30.7m) and upped its bottom-line forecast for the full year to over $120m.

The company, 40% owned by Irish media tycoon Tony O'Reilly, also saw its shares reach a three and a half year high as ceo Brendan Hopkins revealed earnings before interest and tax had grown at a double-digit pace in the first seven weeks of the second half.

APN's radio and newspaper divisions were primarily behind the 34% increase in net profit, having "produced very good gains in advertising yields without sacrificing volumes" according to Hopkins.

Several newspaper titles benefited from population and economic growth increases in New Zealand and regional Australia, as the radio unit (Australian Radio Network) gained market share from all main rivals and posted a 21% rise to $26.1m.

The outcome for the remainder of the year also looks promising. Hopkins claims the fourth quarter is 'traditionally APN's most profitable', although the imminent launch of the Sunday New Zealand Herald is expected to set the company back by $5m.

Data sourced from: Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by WARC staff