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Drop in earnings hurts PBL’s purse

Oz company records 8% drop

SYDNEY — Kerry Packer’s Publishing and Broadcasting reported an 8% drop in earnings before interest, tax and abnormals to A$308 million ($200 million) and a post-tax profit of $113 million on revenues of $780 million (up 4.5%) for the year ended in June.

While a robust cost-cutting program saw expenditure fall 9.4% to $597 million, increased paper costs, a soft advertising market, loss of income from divested units and losses on televising the Commonwealth Games dragged down the bottom line.

But PBL chief exec Nick Falloon expects better things for the television, Internet and magazine conglom in fiscal 2000 owing to the takeover of expected cash generator Crown Casino and an improving TV ad market.

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