22 August 2000

One of New Zealand’s largest media owners and printers, Wilson & Horton, a subsidiary of Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media group, yesterday predicted recovery in the country’s ad sales market after experiencing a soft second quarter.

The sales slump followed a plunge in business confidence observed by several local economic institutions, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Wilson & Horton chief executive John Sanders confirmed the downturn.

“The second quarter has certainly been tougher”, he admitted, “and that's largely from the impact of the business confidence and consumer confidence translating through to particularly the ... motor vehicle and real estate industries,” Sanders told Reuters.

Pursuing a more upbeat line, he continued: “Employment (advertising) is still pretty solid in terms of revenue growth but revenue quarter-on-quarter is down - more so in Auckland than in the regional newspapers. I think we'll see a pick up through to the end of the year and, hopefully, a stronger start to next year. Certainly the regional markets are quite good at the moment, compared to last year,” he concluded.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)