New Zealand Herald owner NZME has reported a full-year profit of $20.9m after its split from Australian parent, APN News and Media.

The company puts the result ahead of market expectations. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation came to $66.2m, down two per cent from the previous year, benefitting from a five per cent reduction in costs. Trading revenue declined four per cent to $387.7m.

Michael Boggs, chief executive at NZME, “We are pleased to see the decline in print advertising revenue slow a little given stable print readership and the success of our integrated sales strategies.

“Print subscriber revenues were stable for the year and we are happy to have outperformed the market in both print advertising revenue and circulation volume trends.”

NZME’s radio revenue returned to growth in the fourth quarter and its combined radio, digital and print audience had grown to 3.2 million. The company said its integrated media and entertainment business featured continued digital revenue growth from its digital business, a slowing rate of decline in print advertising revenue and an improvement in radio revenue trends over the year.

The company added that its strong focus on cost control and business integration assisted earnings. Peter Cullinane, chairman at NZME, said the company’s strategy and the ongoing benefits of integration continued to deliver value for shareholders in the 2017 financial year.

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