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UPDATE 1-NZ's Sky TV posts 31.9 pct drop in half-year profit as competition increases
February 21, 2017 / 9:16 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-NZ's Sky TV posts 31.9 pct drop in half-year profit as competition increases

(Adds CEO comment, background details)

WELLINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Sky Network Television on Wednesday announced half-year profits had fallen 31.9 percent as increased competition from online viewing services ate at its revenues.

The subscription television provider posted net profits of NZ$59.4 million ($42.5 million) in the six months to Dec. 31.

Subscriptions and advertising fell as international digital viewing services recently launched in New Zealand, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, reduced Sky’s market share.

“Digital disruption has also brought a massive increase in the supply of additional viewing options for consumers and spending options for advertisers. Yet without much increase in overall demand,” said CEO John Fellet in a statement.

Sky TV confirmed its December guidance that earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation would be 5 to 7 percent below the NZ$296 million forecast for full-year 2017.

The company announced an interim dividend of NZ$0.15, in line with its previous half-year dividend.

The company is waiting this week to hear whether the New Zealand competition regulator will allow it to acquire Vodafone’s New Zealand unit, a deal telecommunications company Spark is opposing in court.

A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on whether Spark can seek a temporary 36-hour halt if the Commerce Commission rules the transaction can go ahead on Thursday. ($1 = 1.3966 New Zealand dollars) (Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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