Earnings jump at Oz’s Ten net

Support from youth auds benefits web

SYDNEY — Despite soft overall ratings and the appointment of its third management and programming team in as many years, CanWest-backed Network Ten’s just-released results put the web in good shape for an upcoming Australian IPO.

The web, which comes last in Oz’s commercial ratings race but has strong support from the youth auds coveted by ad agencies, posted a 12.9% hike in earnings before interest, profit and tax to A$99.4 million ($64.6 million), while pre-tax profit rose 13% to $62.6 million for the six months ended Dec. 27.

A government order pertaining to foreign ownership of media interests is forcing Canada’s CanWest to cut its 76% Ten stake to 57.5%. The shares will be sold to Ten regional affiliate TNQ, which in turn will offer shares on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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