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TV writedown drags Nine to more than $200m loss

Business

Nine Entertainment has slipped to a first-half loss of $236.9 million after falling TV revenue and a big writedown against its free-to-air network.

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Nine said today it was recording a $260 million non-cash impairment against the network after its revenue for the six months to December 31 fell 5.3 per cent.

The Olympics broadcast on rival Seven had hit both the size of the advertising market and Nine’s share of it, Nine said.

Nine recorded a total $338.5 million in specific items before tax, which also included the previously announced $85 million cost of extricating itself from its expensive obligation to broadcast Warner Bros’ US dramas and comedies.

Nine said its ratings performance improved after the Olympics and that momentum had continued into 2017.

“Nine has recorded a markedly improved start to ratings season 2017, and this strength is expected to continue across much of the full calendar year,” Nine said in a statement.

“This should begin translating to revenues in Q4 FY17 and give Nine positive momentum into FY18.”

The company cut its interim dividend from 8.0 cents to 4.5 cents as underlying earnings fell 6.4 per cent and pro-forma net profit – excluding significant items – fell 4.3 per cent to $75 million.

Nine said it expects full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to fall within published analysts’ forecasts of $158 million to $187 million.

NINE’S HALF-YEAR HIT

Net loss $236.9m v $320.8m profit

Revenue down 4pct to $662.7m

Interim dividend down 3.5 cents to 4.5 cents, fully franked

– AAP

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