HT&E's Ciaran Davis cites improved ARN ratings and line-up changes at shareholder AGM | radioinfo

HT&E's Ciaran Davis cites improved ARN ratings and line-up changes at shareholder AGM

Monday 07 May, 2018

Agency revenue up nearly 10% in H2.

After a challenging first half, HT&E CEO Ciaran Davis has told shareholders at this morning's AGM that ARN finished the year strongly, regaining the No. 1 ratings position in August and ending the year as the No. 1 metropolitan network in the country. 

'Revenue performance reflected these improved ratings', said Davis, 'and in the second half grew 5%, compared to market of 2%. This resulted in full year revenue down only $1.4m compared to nearly $7m in the first half.'

Agency revenue recovered significantly, up nearly 10% in H2, with Davis saying that the benefits of the commercial restructure, and ratings improvements had started to take effect. 

Operating costs were 15% lower year on year due to aggressive cost outs, particularly in marketing which was down nearly 25% in the year. 

Davis referenced ARN's on-air changes which sought to strengthen the performance of its Melbourne stations where audience and revenue shares lag behind the network's success in Sydney. 

'Jase & PJ on breakfast at KIIS 101.1 deliver a clear point of difference, said Davis, and we are very pleased with how they have started, working hard to realise their potential.' 

'Across the KIIS Drive network, we dictated the changes and took the opportunity to invest in Will & Woody – providing security of tenure for at least three years.

'Christian O’Connell on Gold starts on the 4th of June and is a great recruitment for us, presenting a real opportunity to drive market leadership in Melbourne. Christian is best known for his work in the UK, where he has the No. 1 breakfast show in London, and we believe his unique broadcasting ability will resonate well.'

Digital platform iHeartRadio has seen growing usage and revenue, with 1.6 million App downloads, over 1 million registered users, and 370,000 monthly active users, though Davis said '​Revenue is not yet meaningful, but we do see this increasing in the coming years, as more and more audiences transfer onto our platform.'

Overall, on a group basis, Davis reported that HT&E's Pro-forma revenue increased 3%, while EBITDA was up 1% to $118.4m, driven by a strong Adshel performance, offset by the impact of establishing Cody’s trams contract, Club Roar, and esports; and the first half decline at radio. 

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