NZME FY 2018 results: profit down and paywall on way

  • Media
  • February 19, 2019
  • Erin McKenzie
NZME FY 2018 results: profit down and paywall on way
NZME Chief Executive Michael Boggs

NZME’s FY 2018 results are out, showing a net profit of $11.6 million, down 44 percent on FY 2017.

Its trading EBITDA of $54.7 million was also down 17 percent from FY 2017’s result.

Overall, revenue was down two percent.

NZME release

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs says it is pleased with the results given the economic headwinds it faced in its business 2018.

“Given this backdrop, retaining revenue in print was a standout. We are also excited about the strong audience and listings growth in OneRoof, and its early stage contribution to revenue.”

Looking at NZME’s channels individually, digital and e-commerce revenue was the only one to see growth, up six percent from FY 2017 to $60 million. Meanwhile, print was down four percent to reach $211.6 million, and radio and entertainment was down three percent to reach $106.8 million.

All channels were affected by a four percent decline in New Zealand agency advertising demand across the New Zealand market, in line with weak business confidence.

Looking at print’s four percent drop in revenue, NZME’s announcement says it was impacted by structural deterioration in print advertising.

The Print Agency advertising market, which represents 30 percent of NZME’s print advertising revenue, suffered a double-digit drop in agency advertising spend during FY 2018, according to the release.

NZME release

Radio revenue was also impacted by weak agency demand while the growth rate of the digital advertising market slowed during FY 2018.

When NZME announced its results in a New Zealand Herald story this morning, it said it would be launching an online paywall in the second quarter this year.

While it is announcing the fermium model, with day-to-day news and current affairs made accessible for free, there were no details about how much subscribers would be charged to access in-depth analysis and opinion.

Last year, when NZ Marketing investigated the state of journalism funding in New Zealand, NZME managing editor Shayne Currie said its focus was on improving premium journalism and nurturing audiences online.

“We have a project team looking really closely at what we can offer in terms of premium journalism, what people are prepared to pay for, and how we present that generally.

“I think in the case of our newspapers we have seen people are prepared to pay for journalism and we believe it’s high time that with the right journalism and premium content people will be prepared to pay for that in a digital sense.” 

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