Fairfax Media doubled its cost cutting target to A$170 million ($218 million) after first-half profit fell 44 per cent.

Net income dropped to A$96.7 million in the six months ended in December 25 from A$172.3 million a year earlier, the company said.

The result lagged the A$135 million average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald will share more content across its outlets such as radio, newspapers and internet to lower costs as it battles a slide in revenues amid falling circulation.


Fairfax will also centralise sales functions for advertising.

"Large parts of our current operating model are still geared to supporting the old business model," chief executive Greg Hywood said. "The difficult trading environment is likely to continue and the outlook remains uncertain."

Trading revenue in January was 7.5 per cent lower than the previous year, the company said. New Zealand media revenue dropped 8.1 per cent.

Fairfax also owns the Australian Financial Review and Age newspapers. In New Zealand it publishes the Christchurch Press, Dominion Post, stuff.co.nz and last year floated auction website Trade Me on the NZX.

- Bloomberg