Ad revenue lifts TVNZ profit

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 15:07 03/09/2012

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Television New Zealand will extend its On Demand service to iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet and Samsung Smart TVs "once testing is complete".

That's the word from new chief executive Kevin Kenrick when he announced the company's annual profit today.

TVNZ will pay an $11.3 million dividend to its Government shareholder after the state-owned enterprise's profit jumped from $2.1m in 2011 to $14.2m for the 2012 financial year.

The result, announced by Kenrick, bucks the media industry's trend as advertising revenues increased by $9m to $313.7m and overall revenue improved slightly to $381.8m.

TVNZ also trumpeted an increase in its television market share by 0.6 per cent to 62.2 per cent and claimed it had secured 92 per cent of the total television market growth for the year ended June 30.

TVNZ's stable includes TV One, TV2, the U youth channel, Heartland on Sky and is also a partner in Sky's yet to be unveiled discount pay-TV service, Igloo.

The company cut its TVNZ 7 channel in June after the non-advertising supported channel's Government funding expired.

Despite the revenue increases the company says underlying earnings were down 12.2 per cent on the year before, to $27.9m, reflecting the increased cost of overseas television programming.

Operating expenses were up $7.8m to $353.9m.

The $14.2m of after tax profit includes $7.7m worth of impairments and "remediation costs" associated with the analogue transmission switch-off.

Last year's small profit was also hit by a $17m write-down in the ill-fated TiVo service.

However TVNZ says the dividend it pays the Government is based on the company's underlying performance, before any impairment charges.

In 2011 TVNZ made $2.1m and paid a $13.8m dividend.

TVNZ will not publish its full accounts until they are tabled in Parliament early next month.

In a statement Kenrick called the result "satisfactory" and said that TVNZ was "embracing the need to adapt and keep pace with media industry changes".

He said the company had embarked upon an "update" of its strategic direction "to determine how it will continue to deliver the most compelling content for New Zealanders and expected financial returns".

TVNZ's online On Demand service was being extended to devices such as the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet and Samsung Smart TVs "once testing is complete," Kenrick said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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