Fairfax Media has posted a $893.5 million statutory net loss for the 2015-16 financial year as it continues its transition to digital media.
Before the result was announced on Wednesday morning, there was widespread speculation the media company would cease more of its print publications.
Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood gave no indication of this when commenting on the results.
“The stable top-line revenue and EBITA [earnings before interest, tax and amortisation] make it clear that we have reshaped this company into a high-value, broadly-based, digital rich business,” Mr Hywood said.
In February, the company restructured its two main mastheads, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, which resulted in cut costs, reduced staff and a shift of control to the Sydney office.
The loss has been attributed to a recently announced writedown of the company’s vast media operations, which had the effect of breaking out the results of Domain, Fairfax’s real estate arm, from other parts of the business.
Domain continues to grow while Fairfax’s traditional media operations shrink. Domain increased revenue by 32.7 per cent in 2015-16, while revenues from its Metropolitan Media business, which includes newspapers and websites, fell by 5.4 per cent.
The general trend in Australian media away from print and towards digital was evident in the results. Metro media print circulation revenue fell 1.1 per cent to $227.7 million, whereas the number of digital subscriptions increased by 17 per cent.
The company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was $283.3 million.