Fairfax’s takes huge hit in revenues ahead of buyout
FAIRFAX Media has reported crashing revenues across its newspapers and online real estate business Domain just months ahead of its planned buyout by the Nine Entertainment.
Shares in Fairfax, Domain and Nine all plunged yesterday, wiping a combined $700 million in value from the companies.
The slide comes as Nine works to take over Fairfax in a move that will create a $4 billion media company spanning newspapers, radio and television.
Revenue at Fairfax for the financial year so far was 5 per cent lower than in the same period a year ago, it reported yesterday.
Revenue in its flagship Metro Media division, which houses key titles including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review, is down 1 per cent.
Fairfax’s rural media opera- tions reported a 10 per cent revenue slide while sales at its New Zealand media arm cratered 16 per cent.
Macquarie Media, which is 54.5 per cent owned by Fairfax and includes 4BC in Brisbane, 3AW in Melbourne and 2GB in Sydney, was the only business to make any meaningful sales growth, reporting a 3 per cent rise.
Property listings group Domain, which is 59.4 per cent owned by Fairfax, posted a 1 per cent revenue slide.
Fairfax spun off Domain last year, keeping its controlling stake.
Citi analyst David Kaynes said the slide in revenue at Domain was an unwelcome surprise.
“We are surprised by the magnitude of the revenue deterioration,’’ he said in a report for investors.
Shares in Fairfax tumbled 13.6 per cent yesterday to 67¢.
Domain shares lurched 13.4 per cent lower to $2.77 while Nine fell 12.4 per cent to $1.84.