Mixed bag for Rural Press

As far back as August, the company had been optimistic about its earnings growth potential when it reported a 27 per cent rise in annual net profit to a record $68.4million. In the first half of 2002-03, Rural Press posted a $34.1million net profit.

John Fairfax, Rural press chairman, says that the company’s half year result will exceed last year’s by 15 per cent, barring any unforeseen circumstances. However, he says that compliance with the standards will require a “significant writedown” of its mastheads, as they need to be “reflected at historical cost”.

Fairfax also confirmed that Rural Press is still considering its response to the rejection of its $31-a-share takeover bid for Tasmanian newspaper publisher Harris & Co, saying that he still believes the offer represents fair value and that Rural press won’t overpay for the business.

Fairfax also rubbished reports in Tasmania that Rural Press plans to close the Harris press if its bid is successful and lay off 80 employees, saying that no such decision had been made. He says that if a review of business did lead to the closure of the press, it would probably be retained for several years while other options were explored.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@sprinter.com.au.  

Sign up to the Sprinter newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.