Fairfax Media Limited reports: 5 things you must know

Credit: kropeekk_pl

Shares of Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) will be a focal point in the market today after the media heavyweight revealed its half-year report to the market.

Here are five things you need to know about Fairfax’s half-year report for the period ended 27 December 2015:

  1. Revenue increased 1.6% to $958.1 million
  2. Profit rose 4.2% to $27.4 million
  3. A 50% franked interim dividend of two cents per share was declared and is payable 18 March 2016
  4. Fairfax’s Metropolitan Media, which includes the Domain property business, reported a 10% jump in revenue and 24% increase in operating profit.
  5. Debt reduced 46% — the company is now in a net cash position.

“Today’s solid results are a testament to the unrelenting efforts by everyone in the company to drive the performance of the business,” Fairfax CEO, Greg Hywood, said. “Our diversified portfolio of businesses delivered a pleasing 2.8% increase in group revenue to $958 million for continuing operations.”

The Domain digital property classifieds business is the crown jewel in Fairfax’s operations and continues to grow well.

“Domain’s outstanding 74% increase in EBITDA (up 46% excluding the impact of one-off costs in the prior period) contributed to an improved Group operating EBITDA of $161 million,” Mr Hywood added. “The Domain businesses saw digital advertising revenue growth of 37%, and revenue grew by 38%, an acceleration from 30% in FY15.”

Looking ahead, the company said revenue in the first seven weeks of the second half is down 1% to 2% on last year’s figures. Over the same period, however, revenue was up an impressive 25%.

“Our focus in the second half is on continuing Domain’s strong growth, driving our emerging businesses, and delivering on our cost reduction programs,” the company’s media release read.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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