Ten Network Holdings, one of Australia’s largest media groups, reported Wednesday a loss of $A55.2 million (US$29.51m; €33.54m; £20.57). The result, due to a massive A$137.5m writedown of Ten’s outdoor advertising unit, Eye Corp, compares with a 2001 profit of A$11.8m.

Group executive chairman Nick Falloon said Eye Corp, in which Ten has a 60% controlling stake, had suffered from the advertising downturn (a syndrome advertising cynics now dub 'Excuse 44' – twice the potency of Catch 22). Additionally, pleaded Falloon, there had been ‘operating problems’ and the non-delivery of inventory specified in a purchase contract.

Ten, which also controls the nation’s third largest TV network, had otherwise enjoyed EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization) of A$98.6m, 6.7% up year-on-year. EBITDA from television activities was even better, rising 5.7% to A$96.2m.

Said Falloon: “This positive momentum is continuing in the current calendar year, with Ten recording double-digit revenue growth in March and with April on track for a similar result.” Ten is also “extremely well positioned” to exploit the expected upturn in Australia’s advertising market, already showing a silver lining.

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