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Nine Entertainment cuts dividend after 10% drop in 1H profit – UPDATE

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Posted: Feb 22, 2023 5:14pm EST

by Stuart Condie

SYDNEY – Australian media conglomerate Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd. cut its dividend after a 10 per cent fall in first-half profit and warned it will have less earnings visibility for the rest of the financial year.

The Nine reported a net profit of A$183.1 million (US$125.5 million) for the six months to June on Thursday.

by Stuart Condie

SYDNEY – Australian media conglomerate Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd. cut its dividend after a 10 per cent fall in first-half profit and warned it will have less earnings visibility for the rest of the financial year.

The Nine on Thursday reported a net profit of A$183.1 million ($125.5 million) for the six months to June, compared with A$203.5 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 5.4 per cent to A$1.41 billion, but expenses rose 9.7 per cent.

Nine declared a dividend of 6.0 cents per share, compared to 7.0 cents a year earlier.

Analysts on average had forecast a net profit of A$192 million on revenue of A$1.42 billion, according to data compiled by FactSet.

The ASX-listed company reported first-half underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of A$370.5 million, down 8.8 per cent year-on-year and in line with December guidance.

Nine Line said adjusted earnings from its 55 percent stake in real estate advertiser Domain Holdings Australia Ltd. fell 28 percent. Domain last week reported a 28 per cent fall in first-half profit due to higher operating costs.

Nine said it expected to increase its total TV market share in the March quarter, but a weaker macro backdrop meant advertising revenue would fall by a percentage in the low-to-mid single digits for the period.

Total TV costs in the second half are likely to grow by a low-single-digit percentage, an improvement from the previous forecast of 7% growth.

“While a more uncertain operating environment limited 2H visibility, Nine continues to outperform the broader market from an audience and revenue share perspective,” the company said.

Write to Stuart Condie at stuart.condie@wsj.com

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