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Seven Network Post 62% Rise in Annual Profit on Ads, Media Sale

Seven Network, Australia's second-ranked TV broadcaster, posted a 62% rise in full-year profits on Tuesday, as expected after selling half its media interests and buoyed by higher
advertising revenue.

Seven said net profit before one-off items for the year to June was A$174 million (US$140 million) compared with A$107.7 million a year ago.

This was broadly in line with analysts' expectations of A$176 million, according to the mean of 9 forecasts on Reuters Estimates. Net profit including one-off items was A$1.6 billion.

Seven, cashed up after tipping its TV and magazines units into a private equity joint venture with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, also said it planned to buy back up to 10% of its shares.

Seven said the result reflected its formation of the A$4 billion Seven media joint venture and higher television revenues on improved ad sales.

Television costs rose 10% as expected after it acquired Australian Football League (AFL) and VA Supercar Championship rights.

Seven, controlled by media mogul Kerry Stokes, said it had made a A$50 million provision if it has to pay costs after losing a long-running court case against a rival pay TV firm.

Seven received about A$3.2 billion in cash from the 50:50 joint venture with KKR. It also owns a 17.3% stake in West Australian Newspaper Holdings.