CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) reports 12% EBITDA increase
WINNIPEG - CanWest Global Communications Corp. announced today that its 70%-owned New Zealand media operation, CanWest MediaWorks (NZ)Limited, reported consolidated earnings before interest, income tax,depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of NZ$37.9 million for the six months ended February 28, 2005, a 12% improvement compared with pro forma results for the same period last year.
The company's consolidated revenues increased by 8% to NZ$124.6 million compared to pro forma revenue of NZ$115.0 million in the same period last year. These results are recorded in accordance with New Zealand GAAP and will be subject to adjustment to Canadian GAAP upon consolidation with CanWest Global Communications Corp.'s other media
operations CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) is a publicly-traded company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.
The company was reorganized for its public share offering in July 2004. Pro forma financial results for the prior year reflect the combined results of CanWest TVWorks Limited and CanWest RadioWorks Limited, which are comparable to the current year's consolidated financial results.
The Company's Directors have approved an interim dividend of NZ$0.04 per share to be paid for the six month period ended February 28, 2005. The dividend will be paid on May 16, to shareholders of record as of May 6, 2005, and will carry full imputation credits. CanWest Global expects to receive aggregate dividends of approximately NZ$6.3 million in May 2005.
"We are extremely well satisfied with the financial performance of the company. Our radio and television brands are all performing very well," said Tom Strike, Chairman of CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) and President of CanWest MediaWorks International.
Brent Impey, CanWest MediaWorks (NZ)'s Chief Executive Officer, pointed to the exceptional results of TVWorks, which experienced an impressive 27% increase in EBITDA for the first half of the fiscal year, compared to results for the same period last year. "A NZ$3.6 million increase in EBITDA for TVWorks to NZ$20.2 million confirms the strength of the television operations."
The company's radio operations, known as RadioWorks, also recorded significant EBITDA gain, with a 7% increase to NZ$19.0 million for the six months ended February 28, compared with EBITDA of NZ$17.8 million for the same period of the previous year.
RadioWorks completed a number of strategic initiatives during the first half of the year which included the strengthening the national brand profile of More FM by re-branding 15 local stations under the More FM banner; the launch of Kiwi FM, which plays 100% New Zealand music, into Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch; the re-branding of several more stations under the easy listening The Breeze format; the acquisition of additional frequencies in the North Island and the upcoming launch next week of the Radio Live network, which will take a more contemporary approach to news and talk radio.
TVWorks also launch significant new programming with a re-launch of the news flagship 3 News with new anchors, and the launch of Campbell Live, a high-profile weeknight current affairs program that won its time slot out of the gate.