Digital lights up APN Outdoor profits
APN Outdoor is confident of a solid lift in earnings this year after beating expectations with a $41 million profit for 2015.
APN, which owns billboards on buses and trams, and at train stations and airports, says its profit was driven by its digital advertising business and increased market share.
The company’s 2015 net profit compares to a $12.2 million statutory loss in 2014.
The result came in well ahead of the company’s own forecast of $25.7 million made in its prospectus ahead of its 2014 stock market listing.
Revenue jumped 20 per cent to $300.8 million, with APN lifting its final dividend to 11 cents a share from just one cent a year ago.
Digital billboards generated just over a quarter of the group’s revenues in the second half of 2015.
APN said it had added an extra 18 of its Elite large format digital screens during the year, half of which were installed in Sydney.
It now has about 52 screens across the country and plans to roll out more.
APN expects revenue to jump by between eight and 11 per cent in 2016, with underlying earnings expected to soar to $84-$88 million from $63.1 million in 2015.
“Outdoor advertising momentum from 2015 has continued into the early months of 2016,” APN said in a statement on Monday.
“Demand from advertisers and agencies for our large format digital screens remains strong and as a result, we are planning to accelerate our rollout programme in 2016 to over 20 new digital Elite Screens.”
APN said it increased its market share in both Australia and New Zealand during 2015, aided by acquisitions, investment in new products, operational improvements and contract wins.
Audience numbers for outdoor advertising had risen in both countries, APN said, due to population growth, increased travel habits and expanded urban areas.
Shares in APN were 35 cents, or 6.1 per cent, higher at $6.05 at 1054 AEDT.
DIGITAL DELIVERS FOR APN OUTDOOR
* Revenue up 20pct to $300.8m
* Net profit of $41m, up from $12.2m loss
* Fully franked final dividend of 11 cents, up from one cent.