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Macquarie Radio confirms guidance

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SYDNEY, Feb 18 AAP

February 18 2013, 8:15PM

Commercial broadcaster Macquarie Radio expects to double its earnings this financial year after ditching its troubled MTR talkback radio station.

Macquarie on Monday said the absence of its loss-making MTR led to a 50 per cent increase in earnings, before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to $7.4 million for the six months to December 31.

The absence of MTR, which ceased operations a year ago, was reflected in a doubling of net profit to $4.5 million compared with the previous corresponding first half.

MRN executive Chairman Russell Tate said underlying performance was reasonable given the decline in radio market spend levels and the impact of the events surrounding Alan Jones in October 2012.

"These results are in line with guidance provided in November, Mr Tate said in a statement.

"With regard to the full year guidance, and despite the fact that advertising spends are not yet showing strong signs of recovery, we remain confident that the full year EBITDA guidance of 15-20 per cent reduction on prior year will be achieved.

"With the removal of the loss making MTR, reported EBITDA levels for the full year are expected to exceed 100 per cent growth on prior year."