oOh!media CEO Brendon Cook on financial results amidst COVID-19

• Plus the Junkee network

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown of Australia has seen a squeeze put on the media industry, particularly the outdoor sector. But this week oOh!media released its half-year financial results ending 30 June 2020 with an optimistic outlook, which saw its share price up 17.51% by the close of business.

The key takeaways from the report were:

• Revenue declined by 33% to $205.0m
• oOh! maintained its market share in Australia and New Zealand out of home markets
• Underlying1 EBITDA of $10.8m compared to $56.0m in prior corresponding period
• Underlying NPATA2 loss of $16.9m compared to $18.2m profit in prior corresponding period”
• Reported Net Loss after Tax of $27.5m (post AASB16)
• Strengthened balance sheet and focus on cost reduction and cash management to manage through the unprecedented market and audience decline caused by COVID-19

oOhmedia! CEO Brendon Cook spoke with Mediaweek about these results and how the company is managing the pandemic moving forward.

“At the end of the day I don’t think anyone is going to be reporting huge profit gains in the media sector, but the key is the strength of your balance sheet and your ability to come out of this as the audience returns and the economy returns.”

Cook said it was imperative that the company ensured that it maintained costs and cashflow while also putting emphasis on attracting the media dollar.

“Coming through the Covid-period we spoke to our property business partners about where there has been majority of decline in areas and working cohesively together on how we could handle that circumstance. We also sat down and looked at our cost base and eliminated any unnecessary expenses. It was also important that we made sure the market understood we have audiences and the audience is there so you can compete for revenue in the market.”

Cook said that the sector is starting to recover with urban audiences accelerating and regional audiences almost back to normal, and that they are now better at predicting trends during Covid.

“No one was a great predictor in April and May, but we tracked our audiences in Australia and New Zealand, and we are able to know where our audience is and where they are moving. When the level-four lockdown was announced in Victoria, we used the New Zealand level-four lockdown as an indicator and were able to predict audiences in metro Melbourne to a reasonable extent and also the comebacks through each lockdown restriction.

“Advertisers want audience and people with spending money and we are able to make the adjustments to reach the people in the right environment for them.”

Junkee

When asked about the digital media company Junkee Media, Cook said that considering the circumstances it is performing well.

“Junkee is chugging along okay in terms of the business, all of our auxiliary businesses are doing better than expected which is a positive.”

Cook has said one positive of the pandemic is it has allowed them to launch a few things a bit quicker, one of them was the Junkee Network, which launched earlier this month.

The Junkee Network which is a combination of Junkee Media’s content platforms with oOh!’s out of home assets in venues and universities across the country.

The network will feature content Junkee Media’s Junkee, Punkee and AWOL titles on oOh!’s digital screens in over 100 university and TAFE campuses that reach 1.2 million students, plus more than 220 social venues.

“The reality is we have a sales team selling a digital online product and digital out of home product as one thing targeting very discreet audience with quality research. We believe that we have proven that the combination of out of home, digital and social does drive incredible value for clients in terms as results and this is the first chance to sell this as a package.”

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