Prime warns ad conditions will stay tough
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SYDNEY, Nov 28 AAP
November 28 2012, 6:15PM
Prime Media Group says TV and advertising markets remain soft and are not about to improve, but that it has improved its audience and revenue share in the current year.
The group's radio stations are still struggling, however, following a year of declining revenue.
Prime chief executive Ian Audsley said the Queensland economy was tough and an uncertain outlook was creating an environment of reduced advertising and consumer confidence.
"We don't see stability returning to the market until such time as investment returns to the economy at local level," he told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney.
"The level of private sector and public sector job losses in the market is concerning for local retailers and the threat of job loss in regional Queensland is demonstrably affecting consumer confidence."
Radio revenue declined by 1.9 per cent or $400,000 last year while overall revenue improved 6.4 per cent to $273.5 million, driven by the TV business.
An increase in revenue and earnings was in contrast to declines experienced by other media companies while the business had improved its share of audience and revenue in the first half of 2012-13, Mr Audsley told shareholders.
Mr Audsley said he was confident the TV business, a Seven Network affiliate, would achieve its first half targets but there was little visibility into the ad market for the back half of the fiscal year.
"We are though, confident that the Seven Network will continue its content and audience leadership position; the benefits of which will naturally flow to Prime," he said.
"We are seeing nothing on the horizon in the ad market that will ignite an increase in spending in the short term, however."