Record year for radio, streaming and print media


Nine Entertainment Co. has released its financial results for 2022, with the media conglomerate revealing record results for fiscal year 22.

Key takeaways from the report include:

• Market-leading BVOD and linear revenue share (despite two Olympics and an Ashes series airing on competing networks) bolstered total TV EBITDA growth by 19%
• Full-year dividend growth of 33% to 7.0 cents per share
• 81% growth in profit increase over the previous year
• Total TV business leads the calendar year in broadcast viewership
• 22% growth in Stan streaming platform revenue and increase in active Stan subscribers
• Largest audience ever for talk stations, with over 2 million weekly listeners
• Content and programming strategy continues to deliver audience strength on key platforms

Nine Entertainment Co. Tops Ratings

Nine’s Total Television business is the top dog so far for the calendar year in terms of broadcast viewership, with EBITDA of $101 million growing 37% in FY21 and contributing more than 25 % of Total Television’s profitability. Driven by a record-breaking State of Origin series and hugely successful Australian Open, Nine recorded a peak viewership of 4.261 million viewers following the Australian Open women’s singles final which saw the Australian and former world No. 1 Ash Barty pick up the win. .

In the fiscal year to June 2022, Nine achieved a 38.4% commercial network share and a 39.7% main channel share of 25-54 year olds, which enabled Nine to become the number one network for all key demographics.

The group’s EBITDA amounted to $701 million, recording growth of 24%, up 15% compared to the first half.

A digital domain

With streaming and digital platforms now essential for broadcasters and content delivery, Nine’s digital platform, 9Now, saw strong growth, with a 41% increase in revenue. Stan, Nine’s streaming service maintained its position as the leader in local Australian streaming with a 6% year-on-year increase in active subscribers.

With Stan focus on original Australian content and live sport, Stan has expanded its roster to 9 originals, all launched to strong results, primarily driven by film Gold, with internationally acclaimed actor Zac Efron (Extremely evil, terribly evil and vile). Strong originals from Stan also included The tourist (co-produced with BBC and HBO Max) with Jamie Dornan (Autumn, 50 shades of Grey), wolf like me (co-produced with Peacock) with Isla Fisher (Confessions of a Shopaholic and Josh Gad (Frozen). Stan is expected to further expand his catalog of original content, with 20 new engagements slated for release in FY23.

Digital subscribers are a key growth driver for Nine, with active subscribers to Nine’s banners The Sydney Morning Herald, age and The Australian Financial Review up 66% over the year. This increase translated into double-digit growth in subscription revenue as well as digital platform revenue.

For every stock there is an equal but opposite reaction, with the surge in digital subscriptions causing print subscriptions to decline and retail sales to drop 6% as readers continue to turn to digital platforms for information. .

As digital audience and readership grow, so does Nine’s digital advertising. Digital ad revenue grew 10%, despite Google’s old sales agreement ending in February 2021.

Publishing Experts

Nine’s publishing division includes the core business of Metro Media, as well as nine.com.au, Pedestrian Group and Drive. Combined revenue of $594 million and EBITDA of $180 million was reported by the publishing division, resulting in a 53% increase in revenue over FY21. In total, publishing revenue is made up of 60% of digital revenue.

Although Nine’s masthead print sales were down 6%, the strong digital masthead readership of The Sydney Morning Herald, age and The Australian Financial Review saw strong subscriber growth and good ad revenue growth for Nine’s publishing assets. Digital advertising jumped 10%, while print advertising increased 13% despite the recorded drop in print sales.

Overall, publishing EBITDA increased to ~$180 million for the year, with publishing costs increasing 7%, with approximately half of the increase attributed to growth in number of employees and production costs.

ASX performance

Nine’s net debt is $173 million as of June 30, 2022, with the company expecting to pay its final dividend of 7.0 cents per share in October 2022.

Due to strong FY22 results, the Board continues to focus on active capital management, announcing today its intention to proceed with a buyback program of up to 10% of its share capital .

Pierre Costello, Nine’s Chairman said of the takeover initiative: “This initiative reflects the company’s strong performance and balance sheet, and leaves Nine with the ability to maintain a dividend payout ratio of approximately 60-80% throughout the cycle, as well as investing more in strategic growth opportunities (organic and inorganic).

While the state of the global economy has been in flux for most of the calendar year, the new fiscal year showed a resilient advertising market, with Nine expressing confidence that diversifying its earnings profile will ensure continued record performance. benefits.

Nine comments

Not immune to the pressures of the rising cost of living and unforeseen financial strains that the invasion of Ukraine has placed on businesses around the world, CEO of Nine, mike sneesby commented on the company’s adaptability: “As broader economic factors begin to impact certain market segments, Nine’s strong competitive position and balance sheet position us well. We have successfully diversified our revenue base, with over 30% of our revenue now coming from subscriptions and licenses.

“With strong results, Nine is looking to capitalize on the strategies that brought those wins. Sneesby said in a statement regarding the results: “Our job now is to harness that passion and define what our purpose, vision and broader values ​​are at Nine. This work has taken place over the past nine months, and it has been inspiring to see so many of you engage in the conversation, telling us that you believe Nine plays a crucial role in informing the nation, finding and telling the stories that matter, holding power accountable and entertaining our diverse audiences. It’s all part of our DNA; it’s all part of who we are at Nine, and why we can consistently deliver success for our shareholders, our public and the wider community.

“Behind these results lie exceptional achievements. Our Total Television business leads the calendar year in broadcast viewership, BVOD streaming and revenue. This was driven by an incredible Australian Open and record-breaking State of Origin series, as well as Logie-winning Lego Masters and travel guides, and beloved shows like Married at First Sight and The Block – now in its 18th season and still delivering first-night numbers up nearly 22%, including nearly 60% growth in live streaming on 9Now (which grew live streams by 50% this year).

“There were wins in all of our radio markets, which saw an incredible 81% increase in profits over last year. And this week alone, Nine’s talk stations hit their highest ever largest audience ever recorded, with Survey 5 showing over two million listeners now tuning in every week.

“Our subway mastheads, The Sydney Morning Herald, age and The Australian Financial Review have all gone on to add subscribers, increase advertising revenue and remain the standard for print journalism in Australia.

“Investment in sports, events and originals also continues at Stan – which remains Australia’s leading local streaming service. This strategy has continued to grow subscribers and create a stronger, more differentiated and more valuable for the future.

“Such results can only be achieved by an organization that is passionate about the quality, power and purpose of what it delivers. At Nine, we have that in spades. This is key to the continued strength of our business and our financial performance, and it also means that the Board of Directors and management team were able to say “thank you” this year in the form of a acknowledgement. »

For more details on Nine’s FY22 results, you can read the ASX version.

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