Packer’s Nine net posts profit

Kerry Packer’s National Nine Network posted an operating profit of $ A48.5 million ($ 35 million) after taxes. This figure is up 25.3% from a year earlier, for the six months ended Dec. 31.

Earnings before interest and tax were up 15% to $ 52.3 million, with advertising revenues up more than 10%.

Total revenues for the web were up 8.2% due to the sale of Perth radio interests and a flat sales growth for the all-subscriber Sky Channel.

Bank debt grew to $ 50 million, up from $ 3 million, reflecting the network’s increased shareholdings in the Fairfax newspaper chain and leisure and entertainment conglomerate Village Roadshow.

Managing director David Leckie warned that although Nine continues to show dominance in the ratings, complacency is not warranted. Adverse factors such as the current soft advertising climate and sports costs including those of the Winter Olympics would significantly affect results for the second half of fiscal 1993-94.

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