APN posts wider first-half losses
APN News and Media, publisher of the New Zealand Herald, posted a wider first-half loss as it extends job cuts and writes down the value of its New Zealand publications by A$485 million (€409 million).
The net loss increased to A$319.4 million (€270 million) in the six months ended June from a loss of A$98.3 million a year earlier, Sydney-based APN News said in a filing today.
The shares fell to a record low. APN News, which also owns radio stations and newspapers in Australia, wrote down the titles as advertising shifts online and New Zealand's economic growth stalls.
The charges, which are larger than the company's market value of A$273 million, follow similar moves from rivals News Corp and Fairfax Media.
"It has been a tough first half for our publishing businesses, particularly in New Zealand," chief executive officer Brett Chenoweth said in a statement.
The company will convert the New Zealand Herald to a "compact" format from broadsheet next month and is cutting 100 jobs in 2012 after eliminating 400 in the past three years.
APN News shares fell 11 per cent to 42 Australian cents at the close of trade, the lowest since it began trading in 1992 and the biggest single-day decline in a year. The SandP/ASX 200 index rose 0.9 per cent.
The company is 30 per cent owned by Independent News and Media, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Advertising spending in Australia fell 7 per cent in July from a year earlier, according to media research company Standard Media Index, with newspaper spending down 30 per cent from a year earlier.
News Corp, the media company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, made writedowns of $2.8 billion this month, which were principally related to its newspapers in Australia.