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Panpa Bulletin : September 2006
12 | PANPA BULLETIN September 2006 Advertising volume growth of 5.6 per cent and a 4.4 per cent lift in yield was achieved by the Australian news- papers published by the country's third-largest media group, APN News & Media, in the June half- year. The rises reflected APN's strong presence in Queensland which, like Western Australia, is benefit- ing from the commodities boom. But advertising in New Zealand, where APN derives 55 per cent of its revenues, mainly through its flagship, The New Zealand Herald, the nation's biggest cir- culating daily, plus its magazines and regional papers, was a differ- ent story. Volume increased only 1.2 per cent, down from 4.8 per cent in the June 2005 half. The yield fell 5.2 per cent. "The New Zealand economy tightened, particularly in the June quarter, and that has continued into the current half," said chief executive Brendan Hopkins, ann- ouncing the company's half-year results. Despite the flat market in New Zealand, where depreciation of the local dollar also had an adverse affect, APN turned in a strong per- formance -- a record nine per cent profit of $72.1 million. Hopkins said that if interest expense from the $243 million APN had spent buying back 48.7 million shares over the past 14 months was ignored; net profit was up 15 per cent. With Queensland continuing to show good growth, he predicted that the trans-Tasman group, publisher of 23 regional dailies and more than 100 non-daily publications, would increase its full-year earnings-per-share by five to ten per cent. Unemployment continued to near-record lows across most of APN's regional markets across Australia, and the launch of the combined Worksearch print and online products had provided ad- vertisers with enhanced opportu- nities to reach job seekers across Queensland and northern NSW. Worksearch had been instrumen- tal in achieving an 18 per cent in- crease in employment in the first half. Continued population growth associated with the ongoing re- sources and construction boom in Queensland had also support- ed growth in real estate advertis- ing, particularly in Toowoomba, Mackay and Rockhampton. It had grown 13 per cent in the first half, on the back of double digit increases in each of the prior three years. The New Zealand regional property market had also been buoyant - up 17 per cent. The launch of an upgraded weekly property supplement in Hawke's Bay Today had been well support- ed and was averaging 120 tabloid pages every Friday. Circulation has grown in both countries, up four per cent in Australia and three per cent in New Zealand, with more co-ord- inated marketing campaigns de- livering circulation gains for key titles. Hopkins said several daily titles had been relaunched, includ- ing the Sunshine Coast Daily, the Toowoomba Chronicle and the Northern Advocate in Whangarei. Development of new supple- ments that had taken advantage of additional colour capacity and the use of shared pages across the regions had grown revenue and contained the costs of the region- al publishing division. To complement the new print- ing centre at Yandina, which was near completion, a new replace- ment print centre in Bundaberg would start up by the end of the year, specialising in smaller print- run products. In the New Zealand market, where NZNP (comprising The New Zealand Herald, the Herald on Sunday, The Aucklander, New Zealand Magazines and commer- cial printing), the division had developed a co-ordinated strat- egy to increase market share in Auckland. The combined portfolio of titles had achieved strong penetration into Auckland, with eight out of every 10 Aucklanders over 15 reading a copy of an APN daily, weekly or magazine title each week. The NZ publishing business had built its home subscriber da- tabase to 170,000 homes -- "we ex- pect to continue the growth plans for the vision," said Hopkins. TheHeraldonSunday,launched in October 2004, was on track to achieve profitability in 2007, and the well-received extension of the Herald franchise to seven days provided an excellent platform for launching further new added value products. The online division established by APN at the start of the year was pursuing expansion opportuni- ties across the group. Already, the nzherald.co.nz.website was the most visited website in the coun- try and the third most popular in the market. In July, a new record was set for visitors (1.56 million) and for page impressions (26.57 million). Display advertising revenue generated from the site grew 6o per cent year on year and rev- enue records had been exceeded each month this year. Demand for inventory was high, allowing for packaging across a number of sites, increasing overall yields. The online jobs site search4jobs. co.nz was relaunched in May and had quickly become the number two jobs site in the market in both traffic and job volumes. The popularity of the site with recruiters and jobseekers was expected to grow further as new functionality was added. In Australia, Worksearch had continued to expand and was al- ready the largest regional employ- ment web site in Australia. As the online contents, class ifieds, directories and mapping assets were developed; APN was well placed to integrate these into its markets. Rapid organic growth was ex- pected from the online division in the balance of the year and 2007. APN s strong performance APN turned in record results in NZ despite a at market and was revelling in Queensland s booming economy writes Jack Beverley With Queensland continuing to show good growth, Hopkins predicts that the trans-Tasman group, publisher of 23 regional dailies and more than 100 non- daily publications, would increase its full-year earnings-per-share by ve to ten per cent. The online jobs site search4jobs.co.nz was relaunched in May and had quickly become the number two jobs site in the market in both tra c and job volumes.
November December 2006