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Fairfax to axe 35pc of its NZ print titles

Simone Ziaziaris  |  21 Feb 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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SYDNEY - [AAP] Fairfax Media (ASX: FXJ) will sell or close more than a third of its New Zealand print publications following a 54 per cent fall in first-half profit.

The cost-cutting move comes after the New Zealand High Court backed a decision by the country's competition watchdog to block an attempted merger between Fairfax's Stuff and rival NZME.

Fairfax chief executive Greg Hywood had already warned there would be cuts in NZ if the merger did not go through.

Stuff chief executive Sinead Boucher said on Wednesday that 28 titles and about 60 staff would be affected as the papers went digital only over the next six months.

Ms Boucher said meetings with staff would be held over coming weeks.

"We appreciate that this process creates a level of uncertainty for some people--and we will move as quickly as possible to provide them with clarity," Ms Boucher said.

"Changing the print portfolio has involved some tough decisions, but it is clear where the future of the business lies."

The move was announced by Fairfax along with a first-half profit of $38.5 million, down from $83.7 million a year ago due to impairments and restructuring costs relating to the spinoff of lucrative real estate business Domain.

The impairments, restructuring and redundancy charges and other costs totalled $38.7 million, Fairfax said, while revenue for the six months to December 24 fell 3.9 per cent to $877.1 million.

Underlying profit--excluding the one off significant items--fell 9.9 per cent to $76.3 million.

Fairfax said it will continue to implement cost savings measures in the year ahead and declared a fully franked interim dividend of 1.1 cents, down from a partially franked 2.0 cents a year ago.

IMPAIRMENTS HIT FAIRFAX PROFIT:

* Net profit down 54pc to $38.5m

* Revenue down 3.9pc to $877.1m

* Interim dividend down 0.9 cents to 1.1 cents, fully franked

 

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is an AAP journalist.

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© 2019 Australian Associated Press Pty Limited (AAP) or its Licensors. This is the Morningstar service with content provided by AAP where indicated. AAP reserves all rights, including copyright, in services provided by it. The information in the service is for personal use only, does not constitute financial product advice (whether general or personal) and may not be re-written, copied, re-sold or re-distributed, framed, linked or otherwise used whether for compensation of any kind or not, without the prior written permission of AAP. You should seek advice from a professional financial adviser before making decision to acquire or dispose of a financial product.

This service is published for general information purposes only without assuming a duty of care. AAP is not in the business of providing financial product advice (whether personal or general advice), and gives no warranty, guarantee or other representation about the accuracy of the information or images contained in this service. AAP is not liable for errors, omissions in, delays or interruptions to or cessation of the services through negligence or otherwise. The globe symbol and "AAP" are registered trademarks.

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