MediaWorks reports strong 2023 despite revenue drop

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AUCKLAND, Today: MediaWorks reported its full-year results for 2023, showing an increase in EBITDA despite a 5% revenue decline. EBITDA reached $34.6 million, up from $34.4 million in 2022, with a one-off impairment of $86.5 million.


  • Revenue: Total revenue of $204.1 million, reflecting a 5% drop due to soft advertising in New Zealand
  • Cost Reduction: Operating expenses were $11 million lower than FY22, despite 4.7% inflation
  • Radio: Leading in New Zealand for over 10 years, with 2.38 million listeners weekly
  • Outdoor: Direct channel revenues grew 13%, with Programmatic (pDOOH) revenue up 174%
  • Digital: 20% growth in digital revenue, outpacing the market’s 4.3% growth. The digital app Rova grew 106%, compared to the market’s 32% growth for digital audio
  • Impairment: A one-off impairment of $86.5 million reflects the write-off of goodwill due to lower than expected growth
  • Banking: Debt facilities were amended with support from shareholders and lenders

MediaWorks Chair Barclay Nettlefold commented, “The media industry in New Zealand faced tough conditions in 2023, with high interest rates, high inflation, and a recession. CEO Wendy Palmer and the team maintained earnings by restructuring to save costs, which was critical.”

“We made tough decisions to turn the business around and be the first choice for media. While there’s still work to do, I’m proud of our progress.”

“The Board is confident in the Executive Team’s strategy to turn the business around and transition to a digital future. We’ve extended our banking arrangements, giving the team the flexibility needed to execute their strategy. They are simplifying the business around customer and audience, and we’re backing them all the way.”

CEO Wendy Palmer said, “We made tough decisions to turn the business around and be the first choice for media. While there’s still work to do, I’m proud of our progress. We’ve invested in people and platforms to grow our audio, digital, and outdoor audiences.”

“Channel X celebrated one year on air, exceeding expectations. Our app Rova has a growing catalogue, including the Duncan Garner podcast, now a live breakfast show. We’re excited to welcome Simon Barnett back to More FM in 2025.”

Wendy adds, “I’m grateful to our passionate team for creating content that audiences love. Our strength is our people and diverse portfolio, delivering mass reach for Kiwi advertisers.”

CFO Mike Asbridge said, “Q1 started solidly, with revenue and EBITDA on target despite tough conditions. Strengthened sales leadership is paying off, with direct and committed revenue growing. Business confidence is low, but digital revenue growth is outpacing the market.

“We’re investing in digital platforms and audio content. It’s still tough for the media industry, but we’ve made progress in efficiencies and need to stay focused. MediaWorks has a clear strategy and the right team to grow our audience, revenue, and profitability,” Mike adds.

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