Pacific Star reports improved results ahead of Crocmedia merger

• Hutchy two weeks away from taking control

Pacific Star Network (PSN) has reported its half-year results ahead of the general meeting on March 15 to approve the merger with Crocmedia that will see Craig Hutchison confirmed as CEO of the media group.

The results yesterday coincided with yet another Hutchy sports deal – this time with Macquarie Media for NRL broadcast rights.

Pacific Star Network is a media company with interests in specialised niche audiences in both broadcasting (SEN, Classic Rock, Aussie, Koool and Rythmos) and publishing (frankie, Smith Journal, Spaces and Inside Football magazine) and associated digital assets.

Six-month trading highlights:

• Trading conditions in the first half of the year for the company’s broadcast business were strong with revenue of $8.365m up 8% and underlying EBITDA at $1.474m up 23% on the comparative period.

• PSN reported its publishing business continues to operate in a challenging environment with a decline in print revenue of 16% to $2.878m on a like-for-like basis and underlying EBITDA at $529,000 down 39% on the comparative period. PSN noted its publications continue to “rate” strongly and resonate with digital audiences and frankie magazine regularly rates as the number one women’s fashion magazine in Australia for readership.

PSN has reported a net profit after tax of $408,417 compared to the comparative half year (HY 2016: $4.082m loss).

• Underlying net profit after tax (excluding the impact of significant costs of $502,176) was $910,593 (HY 2016: $631,985).

• EBITDA was $1.135m, up over 100% on the comparative period (HY 2016: $3.113m loss).

• Underlying EBITDA was $1.637m (excluding significant costs), up 2% on the same period last year (HY 2016: $1.601m).

• Revenue at $11.245m for the half year was down $383,000 (3%) on the comparative period (HY 2016: $11.628m). The lower revenue has been influenced by lower advertising sales in the publishing CGU.

• Operating costs at $10.542m were $370,265 (3%) lower than the comparative period (HY 2016: $10.912m).

• Operating cash flows at $1,242,838 were up 47% on the comparative period (HY 2016: $845,572).

At the general meeting of shareholders to be held on March 15, shareholders will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed merger of the company with Crocmedia. PSN says the proposed merger will create a sports content and entertainment business that is supported by a compelling strategic rationale.

The intention is for the merged business to be led by CEO elect, Craig Hutchison, who co-founded Crocmedia in 2006.

Crocmedia has grown to become a key player in the AFL landscape having secured the radio rights from 2017 to 2022 to broadcast AFL matches across Australia.

Photo: Craig Hutchison

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