John Drinnan

Media writer for the New Zealand Herald

TVNZ earnings bring it out of red

TVNZ presenters Petra Bagust, Mark Sainsbury and Wendy Petrie were part of TVNZ's strong performance. Photo / Supplied
TVNZ presenters Petra Bagust, Mark Sainsbury and Wendy Petrie were part of TVNZ's strong performance. Photo / Supplied

Television NZ has produced a healthy improvement in earnings with a $19.7 million profit - up 12.7 per cent on last year.

That mean it will give $13.8 million to taxpayers compared with $4.9 million last year.

However, the state-owned broadcaster's ill fated investment in digital recorder TiVo has wiped $17.7 million off the bottom line for the year to June.

Final net profit was $2.1 million, compared with an after-tax loss of $26 million for the previous year.

Chief executive Rick Ellis said that the improvement in advertising came from a combination of strong performances from its main channels "with TV2 performing like a rock star".

Combined with its digital TV assets, such as tvnz.on demand, it had boosted advertising returns by $22.6 million. Operating earnings rose 164 per cent to $31.8 million in the year ended June 30.

Tivo had been disappointing, Ellis said. But TVNZ was still committed to the digital video recorder device - meant to challenge MySky - and was happy for it to "tick over".

"It is operating on a positive cashflow basis."

TVNZ ad revenue for the year was $302.7 million, up $18.4 million or 6.5 per cent above the year before.

During the year the company started two new channels, free-to-air channel U - which replaced public service channel TVNZ 6 and a second pay channel, TVNZ Kidzone 24, made into a pay channel on Sky.

SkyTV yesterday announced a profit for the year to June of $122 million and rewarded investors with an extra big payout.

Sky subscribers increased by 27,024 to a record of 829,421.

Of those 189,975 or 35 per cent had a MySky recording device.

- NZ Herald

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