25 Aug 2009

Online earnings up for Fairfax - print down

7:38 am on 25 August 2009

Two divisions of the Fairfax Media report contrasting fortunes in New Zealand.

The TradeMe online auction site continues to show strong gains: operating earnings rose 12% to about $79 million in the year to June, driven by an increase in transactions and developing new business.

But Fairfax's print publishing arm, which includes The Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times, struggled with a sharp decline in advertising due to the recession, with profits falling 39% to $118.1 million.

Overall, Fairfax lost $A380 million including one-off costs, mainly related to a reduction in the value of its mastheads, which also include The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

However, managing director Brian McCarthy says a decline in advertising revenues appears to have bottomed in the first seven weeks of the new financial year.