Oz media conglom TMS bumps profits by 128%

The reborn Aussie media conglom Television and Media Services boosted pretax operating profits by 128% to $ A4.54 million ($ 3.17 million) in the six months to Dec. 31.

The company attributed the improvement, achieved on a modest 5% lift in revenues to $ A36.9 million ($ 25.8 million) to the full effect of cost reduction programs.

It declared an interim dividend — the first since 1989 — of .67 cents per share in Aussie coin.

Formerly Hoyts Entertainment, the company was restructured and renamed late last year after the equity was reduced by 75% and its lenders agreed to forgive the majority of the bank debt and accrued interest.

TMS spans TV and video services (renamed Global Television), Val Morgan cinema advertising, outdoor advertising, film and video distribution, and stakes in the London, New York and U.S. touring productions of “Miss Saigon,” and the New York, San Francisco and Sydney productions of “The Phantom of the Opera.” All divisions are running ahead of budgeted revenues, said TMS managing director John Rochester.

The new board has yet to decide whether to continue film and vid distribution after putting acquisitions on hold. “We’re still doing our homework” on that issue, said Rochester.

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