Seven parent swings into profit

The parent company of Australian commercial broadcaster Seven Network has posted a half-year underlying profit of A$140.3 million (US$100.7 million), turning round significant losses last year.

Total revenues for Seven West Media’s financial half-year to December 26, 2015, were A$892.9 million. Most of this came from the firm’s TV assets.

Earnings for the same period in 2014 saw SWM post a huge A$993.6 million loss, thought revenues had been higher at A$943 million. Most of the loss came from a huge non-cash writedowns relating to free TV and newspaper assets.

“I may have said to you before that transforming a company and delivering these results is like changing a tyre while travelling 100km/h down the highway,” said SWM CEO Tim Worner in a presentation to investors.

“It is no easy feat, but our team has once again delivered, while also undertaking huge change across the organisation.

“We have a transformation programme in place that is reviewing all processes and areas of the business to determine where there are greater efficiencies that can be realised while not compromising the quality of our prolific content output.”

Seven is Australia’s leading TV channel, offering programmes such as My Kitchen Rules. It has also pushed into international production by launching joint ventures 7Wonder in the UK and 7Beyond in the US, and operates SVOD platform Presto with pay TV compatriot Foxtel.

Worner revealed that Seven was looking at how it could work with traditional rivals Nine Network and Ten Network to reduce costs where applicable.

“We are also exploring ways to collaborate more efficiently with competitors in our industry, which is a marked change in terms of how we would have operated a few years ago,” he said.

SWM launches a new channel, 7Flix, on February 28. This will focus on premium movies, drama and comedy.

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