Fairfax Media has announced its half-yearly results, more than tripling its first-half profits to $84 million. It's also confirmed that it was considering spinning-off its property business Domain into a separate business entity.
Yesterday the media giant, who owns The Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and the The Age, in addition to newspapers in NZ and two Australian radio stations, halted trading as it prepared to announce its half-yearly financial results today in anticipation of a notification in relation to Domain.
The company's increase in profit reflected large write-downs in the same period a year earlier.
Excluding one-off charges, profit rose 6 per cent to $85 million while revenue dropped 5 per cent to $913 million.
It is reported that company-wide revenue in January was about 10 per cent below the previous year, and 6 per cent down in the first two weeks of February. But in Domain digital advertising, sales rose 15 per cent in the half from the same period a year earlier.
Fairfax is planning to keep 60 to 70 per cent of Domain and issue the rest of Domain's shares to existing Fairfax shareholders, who will have to vote on the deal.
The chief executive of Domain, Greg Hywood, commented on the spin-off in the earnings press release.
"The time is right for Domain to consider taking this next step," he said.