Big media’s bear market: a round up of the balance sheets for Fairfax, NZME, TVNZ and Sky

It’s a difficult climate out there for New Zealand’s biggest media players, which is reflected in their latest financial results. Though on a positive note, they all seem to be staying above water for now as their structures are changing to adapt to a multi-channel environment. Here’s a look at results from Fairfax, NZME, TVNZ and Sky.


Fairfax New Zealand 2016 half-year results show results show a total revenue of $181.5 million, down from $196.1 million first half last year (down 7.4 percent).

EBITDA was $30.3 million down from $34.4 million first half last year (down 11.9 percent).

Advertising revenue decreased from $131.9 million last year to $119.8 million this year (9.2 percent decrease). However, digital revenue showed a growth of 43 percent, driven largely from mobile and native advertising, the report says, and the strong momentum of Stuff.co.nz, which continues to be the “number one domestic website in New Zealand, increasing its unique audience by five percent year-on-year.”

See the full report here.


NZME’s full-year results from last year show it brought in a total revenue of $433 million with an EBITDA of $74.9 million.

In 2014, NZME brought in $410.2 million in revenue and its EBITDA earnings were at $75.1 million.

There isn’t much of a difference in revenue from 2014. However, NZME recently moved to a new, integrated newsroom, and last year launched sites Driven, Viva and Spy as well as new revenue streams NZME Vision, WatchMe and CreateMe in a bid to diversify its portfolio of revenue earners.

NZME also teamed up with Fairfax, TVNZ and MediaWorks to launch KPEX.

APN’s market announcement on the results says it remains determined to ensure NZME is structured and funded correctly to capitalise further on the changes it is making.

APN chief executive Ciaran Davis says: “2015 was a year of significant transformation for NZME which delivered excellent progress in a short space of time, repositioning itself to be an audience centric, content driven media and entertainment business. With an experienced management team, the business is in a stronger position to address the decline in publishing revenues and replace them with more sustainable revenues in traditional and digital advertising, with new revenue streams from transaction and experiential sources.”

Shortly after the resutls were released, Davis also announced that APN had scrapped the idea of floating NZME on the stock market.

Davis was quoted in Stuff saying the advertising market “was not currently conducive” to putting the business on the sharemarket.

Overall, APN posted a net profit of A$70 million last year, down seven percent from the $75.2 million recorded last year.  

See the full report here.


TVNZ brought in a net profit of $12.7 million, after tax, for the six months to 31 December 2015, compared to $19.8 million the same period 2016.

Like Fairfax its advertising revenue also dropped, in TVNZ’s case, from $171.6 million in 2014 to $168 million last year.

Source: TVNZ website

Despite the drop in profit, TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick says overall TVNZ is well placed and continuing to perform strongly in a challenging market environment.

“TVNZ has grown its share of peak TV audiences, led again by News and Current Affairs programming and ably supported by New Zealand’s most watched entertainment shows. ONE News was the most watched programme for the period with an average audience of more than 680,000 viewers.”

Although market demand for television advertising softened slightly over the past six months, says Kenrick, continued strong audience delivery had enabled TVNZ to maintain a leading share of the TV advertising revenue for the period.

“TVNZ’s year on year decline in profit is primarily due to increased online competition from global players and the one-off sale of some assets last year,” says Kenrick. 

Kenrick says the main points to note for the six month period are that TVNZ’s peak time TV audience share grew two percent year-on-year to 45.3 percent, New Zealand’s total market for television advertising revenue decreased 1.7 percent (TVNZ maintained TV revenue market share above 60 percent), One News Now streams increased threefold when compared to the same period in FY15.

See results here.


Sky’s interim results from the six months to December 2015 show an overall revenue increase of $475.6 million compared to $464.5 million from 2014 with an EBITDA of $180.9 million, down from $192.4 million in 2014.

Advertising revenue is up at $42.3 million, from $46.1 million in 2014.

However, Sky reported a net profit of $87.3 million, dropping from $92.5 million in December 2014.

Chief executive John Fellet said Sky was competing well in the frothy market, despite a drop in net profit to $87.1 million for the six months to December 31, pointing to 2.4 percent rise in revenues on the back of a 0.5 per cent expansion of its subscriber base, according to the Herald.

Customer churn, or the proportion of customers who cancelled subscriptions, rose to 15.4 per cent – the highest since at least 2006 – from 14.5 per cent the previous year.

Fellet says churn cycles tend to peak the year following a Rugby World Cup.

It’s not an easy market for Sky to be in, with SVOD platforms like Netflix New Zealand and Spark’s Lightbox snapping up a lot of premium content.

“Good content has never been more expensive than it is now. But I think we’ve got a pretty good lock on the good stuff, and I wouldn’t trade my programming with anyone else,” Fellett says.

See the full report here.

Note: MediaWorks has not yet made any of its results public. 

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