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REA and Magellan deliver solid results as News Corp disappoints

Lex Hall  |  10 Aug 2018Text size  Decrease  Increase  |  
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Positive full-year results from digital real estate player REA Group (ASX: REA) and fund manager Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG), tempered by a net loss for News Corp (ASX: NWS).

Australian-based global equities fund manager, Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG) has reported after-tax profits of $268.9 million for fiscal 2018, up 37 per cent on FY2017.
It also announced a total full-year dividend of 134.5 cents a share, a 57 per cent increase on fiscal 2017.

Magellan's board has revised its dividend policy to increase the payout ratio to between 90 per cent and 95 per cent of the funds management business NPAT - up from 75 per cent to 80 per cent. This follows a review of the ongoing capital requirements of the group.
Hamish Douglas, Magellan CEO, highlighted the $1.57 billion IPO of its Magellan Global Trust listed investment company, and two acquisitions – Frontier Partners in the US and Australian equities manager, Airlie Funds Management – in what he described as "an extremely busy and productive year".

News Corp upbeat despite loss

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has shrugged off its latest annual loss with an upbeat assessment of its digital news and real estate assets.

rupert murdoch news corp publishing newspaper

Rupert Murdoch has shrugged off News Corp's latest annual loss

The publishing group reported a net loss of $US1.4 billion for 2017/18, which was worse than the previous year's $US643 million. But the result was skewed by accounting writedowns, including $US998 million for the consolidation of Foxtel and Fox Sports in Australia.

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CEO Robert Thomson said the group had gone through a year of "operational and transformational success" and pointed to revenue growth in its Digital Real Estate Services and Book Publishing arms.

"We also saw meaningful operational improvements at the News and Information Services segment led by higher digital paid subscribers and disciplined cost initiatives, notably in Australia," he said in a statement on Friday.

"Mastheads like The Times, The Sunday Times and The Wall Street Journal reached new heights in their digital transformation, with digital paid subscribers now exceeding print subscribers."

Revenue totalled $US9.01 billion, up 11 per cent, while earnings before interest tax and depreciation hit $US1.07 billion, up 21 per cent.

REA climbs 23pc on website dominance

Real estate giant REA Group's full-year net profit has jumped 23 per cent to $279.9 million, led by the domination of its website realestate.com.au.

The company's revenue in the year ending on June 30, shot up 20 per cent to $807.7 million, despite nationwide listings falling two per cent over the year.
REA Group will pay a final dividend of 62 cents per share, fully franked.


is senior editor for Morningstar Australia

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