Investments pay off

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Kiwi pubcaster TVNZ has announced one of its strongest performances ever — partly at the cost of selling the family silver.

The company’s six-month result (from January to June) records an increase in operating surplus, an increase in revenue, a steady on-air ratings performance and a record dividend to its shareholder, the government.

The web’s highlights include an operating surplus of NZ$21.1 million ($10.9 million) compared with $8.9 million for the first six months of 1998. This represents a 21.4% improvement in the company’s operating performance. In addition, total revenue was $100 million, up $1.6 million over the same period last year. Most significant was the web’s total net surplus of $85.4 million.

These gains were the results from sales in investments of telco Clear, paybox Sky and the remaining 20% of its former Natural History Unit, now owned by Fox.

TVNZ paid the government a dividend of $51 million.

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