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Nine predicts market dominance at meeting

Nine Entertainment Co Chief Executive Mike Sneesby has given an upbeat assessment of the media company's performance, predicting it will dominate the ratings and outperform its competitors.

At the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday, Mr Sneesby said Nine's half-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation would be at the low end of previous guidance of $380 million to $400 million.

Nine has previously notched up record profits for 2021/22 and is in the process of buying back up to 10 per cent of its shares.

Its statutory net profit reached $315 million, up 71 per cent on the previous full year, off the back of a 15 per cent increase in revenues to $2.7 billion.

Mr Sneesby said the company believed it had gained market share in the first half of the 2023 financial year across its television, publishing and radio divisions.

But real estate website Domain is reviewing its cost guidance following interest rate hikes weighing on the spring selling season, he said.

He also flagged Nine's publishing division would see declining growth, reflecting broader economic uncertainty.

Mr Sneesby said it was too early to give a full-year earnings guidance.

Nine Chairman Peter Costello said the company's printing performance was broadly back to pre-pandemic levels after troubles at presses in Victoria and a shortage of delivery drivers during the pandemic.

Printing costs would have to be managed but Nine believes print "has a long and profitable future", he said.

The company now has to compete with Facebook, Google, YouTube and Instagram for advertising revenue, rather than Australian media outlets.

"We have been subjected to this enormous wave of international competition," Mr Costello said.

Asked why the company's share price was not higher given its financial results, Mr Costello said there had been a broad decline in share prices due to higher inflation and interest rates.

He said there had been talk about recession in some quarters and some believed consumer stocks such as Nine would be affected.

Nine shares have dropped by about a third in the past 12 months and are currently trading at just above two dollars.