SYDNEY: Online adspend levels rose by 18.5% in Australia, to A$1.8 billion ($1.5bn; €1.1bn; £915m), over the year to June, and revenues are set to surpass A$2bn over the next 12 months.

Figures produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Interactive Advertising Bureau Australia showed that online search and directories posted growth of 25% for the fiscal year ending in the sixth month of 2009.

Display expenditure also increased by 20% year-on-year, with classifieds up by 6%, although the rate of expansion for this medium was said to be "significantly reduced compared to prior years".

The finance, computers and communications and automotive sectors were the biggest spenders in the display category, being responsible for 45.5% of total expenditure.

Over the first half of this year, online posted an uptick of 12%, to A$893m, on an annual basis, although this amounted to a contraction of 2.3% when compared with H2 2008.

In the second quarter, the growth rate slowed further, to 9.8%, as total revenues reached A$453m, up by just 3.1% quarter-on-quarter.

Paul Fisher, ceo of IAB Australia, said "the continued growth of online advertising expenditure coupled with anecdotal increases in online advertising activity already this quarter, position the industry strongly."

In a separate study, PwC has also predicted the online access and ad market will enjoy a CAGR of 10.4% in Australia over the five years to 2013, taking it to a value of A$6.8bn by this date.

Mobile ad revenues will increase in value to A$232m during this timeframe, but free-to-air TV and newspapers will post average declines of 0.7%, while magazine ad sales will drop by 0.2%.

In all, the country's ad market will see revenues climb by an annual average of 1.7%, to a total of A$13bn, while consumer spending will rise by 5.5%, to A$17.8bn, on this basis until 2013.

Data sourced from IAB/Dynamic Business; additional content by WARC staff