APN News & Media, owner of the New Zealand Herald, has posted a significant annual loss amid declining revenues and written down its New Zealand and Australian publishing assets by A$510m.
The media company – which saw its chairman, chief executive and three other directors resign this week after a disagreement with major shareholders – reported a A$455.8 million ($559.2 million) statutory annual loss for 2012. The company experienced drops in revenue and earnings over the year.
An impairment charge of A$151m, relating to APN’s publishing assets in both New Zealand and Australia, followed the A$485m writedown announced in August.
Within that, APN’s New Zealand Metro segment which mainly comprises the New Zealand Herald newspaper, took another A$39.6m impairment hit on intangible assets at year end on top of a A$372m writedown in August.
The Herald’s segment is now valued on the books at A$132.5m.
Setting aside the exceptional items and impairments, APN’s profit still dipped 30 per cent from A$78.2m in 2011 to A$54.4m in 2012.
As for the key issue of APN’s debt, over which the board members recently quit, the company reported it had decreased its debt level by A$180m in 2012 to A$449m, and planned to shave another A$40m to A$50m in the 2013 financial year.
“Reducing APN’s debt level is an ongoing objective,” the company said when announcing the results. It planned to do so by further cost-cutting in its publishing arm as well as some asset and property sales.
The Herald are in a world of hurt. Their circulation figures continue to plummet and their on-line strategy is getting pummeled by Fairfax.
Further cost cutting has been announced.
Now where does the Herald have some dead wood, I wonder?
Source: William Mace at Stuff