Loss and write-downs as APN papers do it tough

A WRITE-DOWN of the value of its New Zealand mastheads has pushed regional newspaper, radio and poster company APN News & Media to a first-half net loss of $319 million as its newspapers continue to do it tough in difficult trading conditions.

A WRITE-DOWN of the value of its New Zealand mastheads has pushed regional newspaper, radio and poster company APN News & Media to a first-half net loss of $319 million as its newspapers continue to do it tough in difficult trading conditions.

The publisher announced a $485 million non-cash impairment charge associated with its NZ mastheads in the six months to June 30. Australian mastheads were unchanged.

APN chief Brett Chenoweth said that conditions in its publishing division on both sides of the Tasman were tough and likely to continue.

Revenue across the group fell marginally to $409 million for the period and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell 12 per cent to $75 million. Revenue and earnings in the Australian publishing arm fell by 7 per cent and 9 per cent respectively on the corresponding period.

The company will pay an interim dividend of 1.5? a share. APN's shares closed at 42?.

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