Nine profits up 35 per cent in record result for TV, publishing

Nine Entertainment Co will pay shareholders a record full-year dividend as growth in subscriptions and a buoyant advertising market helped lift profits by 35 per cent to $315 million.

The television, publishing and digital media company’s chief executive Mike Sneesby said Nine was positioned to weather uncertain economic conditions as he announced plans to buy-back up to 10 per cent of shares on issue.

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby said the result was a record for publishing and broadcasting. Credit:Eddie Jim

“Whilst broader economic factors are beginning to impact some areas of the market, Nine’s strong competitive position and balance sheet stands us in good stead,” Sneesby said. “We have successfully diversified our earnings base with more than 30 per cent of our revenue now from subscription and licensing.”

The company reported a 15 per cent increase in revenue for fiscal year 2022 of $2.7 billion. Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew 24 per cent to $700.7 million.

Nine, which owns The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, increased revenue and profit across all divisions in the financial year. This was driven by strong advertising market conditions, an increase in subscriptions and millions of dollars in licensing fees from tech giants Google and Meta. The result was a record for the broadcast and publishing businesses, which reported EBITDA growth of 21 cent and 53 per cent respectively.

Nine will pay a fully franked final dividend of 7 cents per share on October 20, bringing the full-year dividend to 14 cents per share (the highest since it listed on the ASX).

The company also announced plans to buy-back up to 10 per cent of its issued shares in a similar move to rival media company Seven West Media. The company provided full-time employees who are not on an incentive scheme with a ‘recognition bonus’ earlier this month.

Nine is forecasting group EBITDA of $380 million to $400 million for the first half of the current financial year, It did not provide cost guidance. Shares closed at $2.00 on Wednesday.

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