Hoyts posts $ 49.8 mil loss for fiscal year

With continuing high writedowns on its radio interests and hefty interest charges, Oz media group Hoyts Entertainment is still in the red, posting a $ A68 .2 million ($ 49.8 million) group loss for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Result compares to a $ 81.4 million loss the previous year and was struck on sales revenue of $ 89 million, $ 4.7 million down from last year, according to the company’s preliminary final statement.

Group recorded writedowns of $ 59.4 million, mostly comprising a $ 51 million writedown of the value of its FM radio licenses coming under the banner of 65 %-owned subsid FM Australia (formerly Hoyts Media). That stems from an independent valuation of the licenses, which were acquired in the late ’80s at huge pricetags, and “significantly” reduced ad revenues during the year.

FM Australia also paid $ 18.2 million in interest on debt incurred in buying the licenses.

Radio has always been a drag on HE’s results from film distribution, TV production, outdoor and cinema advertising and live theaters.

Excluding FM Australia, HE reported an operating profit, before interest and tax, of $ 3.8 million. That’s down 49%, which the company attributes to poor returns from outdoor advertising.

However, after interest charges, which fell 30% to $ 7.7 million, HE had an operating pre-tax loss of $ 3.8 million.

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