Fair­fax Me­dia flags up US$760 mil­lion in write­downs

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

LEAD­ING Aus­tralian pub­lisher Fair­fax Me­dia said yes­ter­day it would post nearly A$1 bil­lion (US$760 mil­lion) in write­downs in the year to July, while it an­nounced the cre­ation of a new re­port­ing seg­ment for its lu­cra­tive on­line real es­tate divi­sion.

Like its global peers, the group, which owns The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald and The Age news­pa­pers, has had to slash jobs and costs ow­ing to fall­ing cir­cu­la­tion and ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enue.

Most of the A$989 mil­lion ($750 mil­lion) pre-tax im­pair­ment charges for the 2016 fi­nan­cial year come from ma­jor Aus­tralian met­ro­pol­i­tan news­pa­pers, ac­count­ing for A484.9 mil­lion. Im­pair­ments for com­mu­nity me­dia amounted to A$408.8 mil­lion.

Fair­fax said its prop­erty list­ings divi­sion Do­main Group would form a sep­a­rate re­port­ing seg­ment. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Hy­wood said the ad­just­ments "re­flect the mar­ket re­al­i­ties that the metro busi­ness is fac­ing", adding that the me­dia divi­sions in the ru­ral, re­gional and New Zealand divi­sions were also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing chal­lenges.

But with spec­u­la­tion swirling that the Do­main sep­a­ra­tion could even­tu­ally lead to the group sell­ing the real es­tate divi­sion or news­pa­pers, Mr Hy­wood said the unit "re­mains an in­te­gral and grow­ing part of Fair­fax".

Fair­fax, with news­pa­per, ra­dio and dig­i­tal in­ter­ests, is the main ri­val to News Lim­ited, Ru­pert Mur­doch's Aus­tralian em­pire, which is also suf­fer­ing from fall­ing rev­enues. -

Photo: AFP

Copies of the Aus­tralian Fi­nan­cial Re­view and The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald pub­lished by Fair­fax Me­dia on sale in Syd­ney yes­ter­day.

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