Profits Rocket at Australia’s Fairfax

10 September 2003

Australian newspaper publisher John Fairfax Holdings has more than doubled net profits in its fiscal full-year.

The group – owner of (among others) the Sydney Morning Herald and the Sun-Herald, plus the Dominion Post in Wellington, New Zealand – reported earnings of A$125.5 million ($82.1m; €73.7m; £51.7m) for the twelve months to June, up from A$53.7m the year before. Revenues from ordinary activities increased from A$1.17 billion to A$1.21bn.

Much of the profits surge is down to a one-off charge last year, though Fairfax ceo Fred Hilmer also pointed to rising ad income, a cost-control programme and a decline in losses at online arm f2 to A$9m.

However, the company warned of mixed signals for the ad market. Display advertising, it revealed, “continues to grow strongly,” but job and real estate classifieds have “softened, consistent with market conditions in those sectors.”

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff