NEWS17 February 2011

Photon reports AUS$32m loss in second half of 2010

Asia Pacific Financials News

AUSTRALIA— Marketing services group Photon has reported a decline in revenue and a AUS$32m (£19.8m) loss for the second half of 2010.

The group’s revenue was down 4% to AUS$289.8m (£179.7m) compared to the same period in the previous year.

The biggest decline was in the group’s international agencies, which account for about a quarter of its business. They saw net revenue fall 14% and EBITDA fall 41%. The firm blamed this mainly on lower results from the agencies Naked and The Leading Edge, although revenue and EBITDA for the division would still have been down even with those agencies excluded.

Photon said that uncertainty surrounding its financial position had “created some distraction” for staff, clients and potential hires, but that “good progress” had been made since it recapitalised with AUS$114m funds raised through a stock offering in the autumn.

Photon struggled during the financial crisis and last year found itself unable to meet earnout payments owed to owners of agencies it had acquired. It said its focus in the second half of the year had been on operational restructure and strategic review, aimed at streamlining the organisation. It has so far used up about half of the AUS$6.2m set aside for the restructure.

The group more than halved its debt during the six-month period to AUS$126m, thanks to the recapitalisation and sales of assets.