Australia Markets closed

Seven West falls to $109m loss

Seven West Media has posted a loss of $109.3 million for the first half of the financial year because of restructure costs and the lower value of its magazines.

Seven West, the owner of the Seven Network and West Australian newspaper group, took charges of more than $255 million in the six months to December 31 relating to redundancies and writedowns on its magazines and investment in Yahoo!7.

The loss compares to a $163 million net profit in the previous corresponding period.

Earnings before significant items, net finance costs and tax (EBIT) in the six months to December was $259.3 million, above its previous guidance of $250 million.

"Good progress is being made on driving greater efficiencies across our business to manage our costs," chief executive Don Voelte said in a statement on Wednesday.

"These initiatives will assist in our performance in the second half of 2012/13 and in 2013/14."

The writedowns consisted of a $195.2 million impairment charge on the carrying value of its magazine mastheads, licences and goodwill, and a $60.2 million charge on its investment in Yahoo!7, the company said.

Redundancy and restructuring costs totalled $5.3 million.

Seven West owns The West Australian Newspaper, the Seven free-to-air television network, magazine publisher Pacific Magazines and is a joint-venture partner on the Yahoo!7 website.

Revenue across group fell 3.4 per cent to $977.9 million, Seven West said.

Its television stations posted revenue of $666.1 million in the first half, up 1.6 per cent compared with the prior corresponding period.

"Seven continues to lead the market in television advertising revenue share, building share in a tough advertising market," the company said.

Seven West said it expected television advertising to experience flat to single-digit growth.

By contrast, Seven's newspaper unit suffered a 14.9 per cent fall in revenue and magazines reported a 10.9 per cent slide in sales.

The company declared an interim dividend of six cents per share, fully-franked.

Seven West said net debt at December 29, 2012, stood at $1.26 billion, compared with $1.85 billion at June 30, 2012.

The company conducted a $440 million capital raising to pay down debt and used $160 million of net operational cash flows to pay down debt during the half.