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NZ buy changes Fairfax mix

John Drinnan

Friday 7th November 2003

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John Fairfax Holdings chief executive Fred Hilmer says the purchase of INL publishing assets in New Zealand is likely to change the company's revenue mix.

Speaking at the annual general meeting last Friday Hilmer said circulation revenue was more significant in New Zealand than it was in Australia, due to the strong penetrations in the Christchurch and Wellington newspaper markets.

He said that in the Australian market display advertising revenues were more significant.

Earlier, John Fairfax Holdings chairman Dean Wills had announced a net profit after tax and pre dividend for the 2003 financial year of $125.5 million.

He said this represented an increase of 134% over last year's profit of $53.7 million, which included a number of significant items and an increase of 39% on last year's dividends of $A90.2 million.

The board approved a second successive increase in the dividend for the 2003 financial year, bringing the total dividend to 13Ac a share fully franked.

Wills told shareholders the company expected to be able to maintain good quality returns to shareholders through the acquisition of the New Zealand publishing business.

New Zealand revenues were up 7% on last year.

The acquisition had already generated increases to earnings per share from the first day and there would be a focus on franchise quality revenue growth and the key advering categories.

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