Fairfax Media Limited has reported a loss of $400.9 million for the past financial year.
The company says the result represents a decrease of 1.8 per cent on last year and is ''slightly above market consensus''.
The company has written down the value of mastheads, customer relationships and goodwill by $650.7 million after tax. This write down is of a non-cash nature and is reflected as significant items in the accounts. Following this impairment, the carrying value of the Company’s intangible assets is $5.3 billion.
Fairfax has also incurred restructuring charges during the year totalling $23.9 million after tax. These amounts have also been recorded as significant items in the accounts.
Including these significant items, Fairfax has incurred a loss after tax and SPS dividend of $400.9 million, compared to a profit of $270.3 million last year.
Chief executive and managing director Greg Hywood said Fairfax Media was responding aggressively to structural changes in the media landscape while also dealing with the challenges of a prolonged cyclical downturn.
''We have the right strategy and are working to build long term shareholder value. Our focus is on improving operating performance and growing long term sustainable earnings.
“While we have reported an after tax loss for the year for statutory purposes, it is important to highlight that this is due to substantial impairment and restructuring charges,'' Mr Hywood said.
''The vast majority of these charges are of a non-cash nature and have no impact on the operating strength or debt levels of the Company.''
Mr Hywood said the past financial year had been a year of two halves, and he was pleased with the way Fairfax businesses responded to the deterioration in operating conditions that set in from November 2010.
“Our multi-platform strategy is delivering results. We are seeing the benefit of the diversity of operations, and the strong growth in digital earnings is providing some insulation as we manage changes in our metropolitan media business.
“We have recently launched a major cost reduction program that will further enhance our operating performance. We have looked very closely at all the processes and functions undertaken within the Company and I am confident that over the next two years we will be able to reduce costs by at least $85 million.''
Fairfax Media announced an interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share was paid in March 2011 and a final dividend of 1.5 cents per share would be paid on September 27 to shareholders registered on September 12.
The final dividend of 1.5 cents per share represents an increase of seven per cent over the final dividend paid last year and represents an increase in the total dividend payout ratio to 25.6 per cent.
The reporter is a Fairfax Media shareholder