Fairfax NZ down but still profitable

A DROP of 29 percent in earnings has been recorded by the operations of Fairfax Media in New Zealand. Mid-year figures show Fairfax earnings fell to NZ$63.1 million from NZ$88.5m in the comparative period of the previous year. Revenue fell 11 percent to NZ$267.9m over the period.

The result embraces more than 80 newspapers and 25 magazines in New Zealand, including the Dominion Post, The Press and Sunday Star-Times. Its magazines include Cuisine, NZ House and Garden and TV Guide.

Advertising revenue from classified ads in employment and real estate were hit hard. Ad revenues fell 15 points although circulation revenue went up 3 per cent.

Cost-cutting produced savings of 4.4 per cent, or nearly NZ$10 million, to total NZ$197.7m.

Fairfax NZ chief executive Joan Withers told her own flagship newspaper, the Dominion Post, further cost-cutting could not be ruled out.

Meanwhile, the Dominion Post has reported that state-owned Television NZ plans to cut costs by NZ$25 million by June, and pay-TV operator Sky TV posted a 17 per cent fall in half-year profit.

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