Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) share price drops 11% on profit fall

Shares in the Aussie media giant are sinking today. Here's what the company announced.

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Key points

  • The Southern Cross Media share price is sinking 11% today
  • The company's NPAT dropped almost 50% for the half ending 31 December 2021
  • An upcoming fully franked dividend of 4.5 cents per share is expected to be paid in April 

The Southern Cross Media Group Ltd (ASX: SXL) share price is crashing today following the release of the company's half-year financial results.

The company reported a large decrease in profit and declared an interim dividend to be paid in April.

At the time of writing, the Southern Cross Media share price is down 10.99% at $1.81. For context, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is also having a shocking day, currently down 2.8%.

Let's read on…

Southern Cross Media share price tanks on results

For the six months ending 31 December 2021 (H1 FY22), the Australian media company highlighted the following:

Despite the drop in earnings, Southern Cross Media said its balance sheet "remains strong". As such, its EBITDA amount (excluding JobKeeper payments and its Public Interest News Gathering grant [PING]) was up 16.3% to $46.5 million.

The company will also pay a fully franked dividend of 4.5 cents per share on 7 April. This is the first time it has paid an interim dividend since 2019.

What else happened in the half?

Looking more closely at its operations, Southern Cross Media's LiSTNR app saw 500,000 new users in the last 12 months. It also had more advertisers taking advantage of its "addressable audiences".

Against its pcp of H1 FY22, audio revenue increased by 11.5% to $193.8 million, and broadcast revenue was up 10.3% to $183.3 million.

Television revenue was down by 22.3% to $65.8m. However, television EBITDA (excluding JobKeeper payments and PING) increased by 27.3% to $17.5 million. This was a double whammy effort, due to the media company's "sales performance" and the changeover of its "television affiliation to Network 10" from 1 July last year.

On the move, CEO Grant Blackley said:

Our open and effective operating relationship with Network 10 delivered above-market returns for both parties.

From 1 April, SCA will take over national sales representation for Network 10 programming in northern NSW and Tasmania which will simplify buying off Network 10 for national advertisers in regional Australia.

Expenses were reduced by $6 million, a portion due to "lower television affiliation fees payable to Network 10".

What did management say?

Commenting further on the results impacting the Southern Cross Media share price today, Blackley said:

The recovery in advertising markets continues to strengthen but is uneven, with Omicron related disruptions tempering the strong momentum from November to December.

Advertising markets in Q4 are expected to benefit from a normalising market, improving consumer and business demand and the upcoming Federal Election.

Southern Cross Media share price snapshot

Over the last 12 months, the Southern Cross Media share price has dropped by 25%. It is also down by more than 5% this year to date.

The company has a market capitalisation of $536.35 million.

Motley Fool contributor Alice de Bruin has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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