Fairfax NZ newspaper revenues slip

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Sydney-based publisher Fairfax Media says its New Zealand unit’s revenue and earnings fell in the first half on the back of weakness in print advertising revenue, according to a report in NBR Online.

In New Zealand, where Fairfax’s assets have been packaged for a merger with the operations of NZME, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were down 6.2% at A$25.9 million versus the prior period, while revenue fell 4.1% to A$159.2 million.

Advertising was down 9.9% in New Zealand dollars terms to $107.9 million. Circulation revenue also fell.

Digital growth
Weakness in print advertising revenue was partially offset by strong digital growth of 21% and significant expansion in the contribution of events.

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Sydney’s Channel Nine eyes Fairfax print assets
Meanwhile, Australia’s B&T and The Australian report that rumours have returned that the company’s Australian newspaper assets – which include The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Australian Financial Review – could soon be sold off, with Channel Nine tipped as a potential suitor.

Just where this would leave Fairfax NZ’s newspaper assets remains unclear (the company’s NZ print portfolio includes The Dominion-Post, The Press, Nelson Mail, Marlborough Express, Sunday Star-Times, Southland Times, Sunday News, Sunday Star-Times, Taranaki Daily News, Timaru Herald, and the Waikato Times – remains unclear.

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