Fairfax News and Media Company has posted losses of A$2.732 billion for the financial year 2011/12, after writing down its media businesses and plants and equipment (including printing presses in Tullamarine and Chullora that are to be shut down in 2014) by almost A$3 billion. The losses announced on Thursday for the year to June were seven times higher than those for the same period in 2010-11, which stood at $390.9 million. Fairfax is Australia’s oldest news publisher, and its titles include the country’s oldest paper, The Sydney Morning Herald
The company’s write-down of mastheads and goodwill comes in light of the woeful financial forecasts predicted for the next three years. In a statement following the release of the company’s full-year financial results, Fairfax Chief Executive Greg Hywood said: "The assessment of the carrying value of our intangible assets - mastheads, goodwill and customer relationships - is based on the three-year outlook for each of our business units. That outlook worsened considerably over the course of the second half of the year as the cyclical downturn became more pronounced, and our confidence in a sustained improvement in market conditions reduced."
Commenting on the present state of the advertising market, Hywood expressed his belief that never in his 30-year career had it been in such a bad condition, but he also added that the present drop in advertising revenue was part of a “cycle” and would “inevitably pass.”