State owned broadcaster TVNZ says it has increased its profits by more than $25 million from last year, announcing today a full year profit of $19.4 million, built on the back of hit shows like Dancing with the Stars.
Last year it made a loss of $7.1 million and did not pay a dividend. This year it will be paying out $10.3 million dividend to its owners, the Crown.
Now, thanks to big TV events like Dancing with the Stars and the coverage of Sir Edmund Hillary's funeral, the network says things are going well, both on screen and in the financial books.
Chief Executive Rick Ellis said the strong result was off the back of higher advertising revenues coming higher channel ratings and "getting the organisation's costs under control."
Excluding Government funding for its new digital channels, total income for the year was $379.7 million, a small jump of $4.7 million from the year before.
The primary driver of this revenue hike was a $2.7 million increase in advertising income.
Expenses were down 2.7 per cent for the year.
"Our revenue targets for the year were all exceeded," said Ellis. "This is year one of the TVNZ three year turnaround plan and it's a credit to a highly motivated and focussed staff working to a well thought out strategy," he said.
The increase in advertising revenue came despite the Rugby World Cup appearing on another channel (arch rival TV3) and tough market conditions in th latter part of the financial year (these results are to the end of June)
Ellis said advertising revenues were strong in the second half of the year with a year on year increase of 3.4 per cent for the January to June period.
"While the economic outlook for the 2009 financial year is challenging for many New Zealand businesses we are cautiously optimistic about the environment and confident in our abilities and plans."
Hours of local content programming on TVNZ were largely unchanged, but Ellis said 15 of the 20 top rating shows for the year were shown on TVNZ.
" It was particularly pleasing that 17 of the 20 top rating programmes on TV ONE were locally produced," he said.
""We've had a very strong year on screen. Our flagship ONE News at 6pm has had consistent lifts in its ratings, shows like Dancing With The Stars have proved extremely popular, coverage of major events like Sir Edmund Hillary's state funeral captivated the public and the launch of TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 has enabled TVNZ to extend its range of programmes and its value to New Zealanders as the country's public broadcaster."
- HERALD ONLINE