Sydney Morning Herald Publisher Books $750 Million Writedown

  • Owner Fairfax Media plans to separate Domain Group results
  • Charges at city, regional titles reflect ‘market realities’

Fairfax Media Ltd., owner of the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote down the value of its assets by A$989 million ($750 million) to reflect “market realities” after a slump in publishing earnings.

The company’s Australian Metro Media division, also home to the Australian Financial Review and The Age, will book an impairment of A$484.9 million, Fairfax said in a stock exchange filing Monday. The non-cash, pretax charges relate to the year ended June 2016.

The company’s community media unit, publisher of The Land and other regional titles, will incur a charge of A$408.8 million. The New Zealand business will book costs of A$95.3 million.

The charges come after first-half earnings at Fairfax’s metro and community publishing units tumbled 33 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Sales at the businesses also fell.

Fairfax also said its Domain Group’s property advertising business, where first-half profit soared, will now report its results separately to highlight its performance.

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