The media reporting season is underway with Macquarie Media reporting a drop in net profit of 33% – from $14.4m in FY2018 to $7.1m FY2019. Group revenues were down 3.3% from $136.3m to $131.8m.
The business has been plagued by legal claims and internal unrest across the year and its financial report includes details of the impact of those claims.
CEO Adam Lang has re-signed both Alan Jones and Ray Hadley in recent months and the business has been unable to significantly grow the audience for the Macquarie Sports Radio stations.
Lang commented: “We recognise that this outcome is disappointing for our shareholders.
“The Macquarie Media strategy is to leverage our market leading audience into a greater financial return. We have executed significant changes to improve customer service to our audience and clients and, ultimately, deliver a better return for our shareholders. This strategy continues to be the primary focus of our daily operations.
“News Talk is the foundation of our strength. The twelve months to 30 June 2019 featured the delivery of sustained audience leadership by our top rating News Talk stations 2GB in Sydney and 3AW in Melbourne. 4BC has earned its best audience results since 2011 and 6PR has proven to be capable of leading the Talk radio audience in Perth. Compared to the previous financial year, the average audience for our News Talk network has grown over 5%.
“Our Macquarie Sports Radio network has evolved continually throughout the financial year to earn the engagement of a new audience of sports fans. In calendar 2019 we have grown the cumulative audience by 64%.” (Survey 1, 2019 v Survey 4, 2019)
Lang paid tribute to the real engine that drives the stations, its sales team, and commented on the outlook: “While advertising conditions remain subdued, we are encouraged by our audience growth, our improving capacity to engage advertisers and our continued drive for efficiencies to deliver a strong return for shareholders in the financial year 2020.”