TVNZ profit heads higher

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 10:15 29/08/2014

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Television New Zealand's profits have jumped by a quarter thanks to belt-tightening and asset sales.

The state-owned broadcaster reported a net profit of $18 million for the year to June 30, up 25 per cent on the previous year.

Revenues slipped 0.4 per cent to $361m.

Chief executive Kevin Kenrick said it trimmed its operating expenses 3 per cent.

Most of the profit gain was achieved as a result of property sales but "underlying earnings" increased 7.5 per cent, he said.

More than a million programmes a week were being viewed online through TVNZ Ondemand, he said, up 78 per cent on a year ago, with online advertising revenue up 30 per cent.

"Growth in digital media was the standout performance for the year," Kenrick said. "Online revenue is currently a modest component of total revenue, but it's a major driver of future."

As well as selling surplus land and property, TVNZ last year disposed of its stake in Tivo set-top box venture Hybrid Television Services and Sky Television joint venture Igloo, both of which failed to fire as investments.

Sky Television last week reported a 22 per cent jump in its annual profit to $161m thanks largely to lower programming costs, price rises and a modest 1.1 per cent rise in subscriber numbers which nevertheless tracked a little lower than population growth of 1.5 per cent.

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