No sign of dividends as Seven West Media profit slides

Seven West Ventures, the investment division, invested $12 million in property entrepreneur Anthony Catalano’s new View Media Group, as well as $24 million in media advertising. Its portfolio now stands at $105 million.

The broadcaster is forecasting operating costs for the year between $1.22 billion and $1.23 billion, including the $45 million to $50 million it will pay for a long-term agreement with NBCUniversal.

Seven suspended its dividend in mid-2018 under former CEO Tim Worner, who said the decision was related to paying down debt. When Mr Warburton took over Seven, it was mired in $589 million in debt, with leverage of 2 times.

He has overseen long-term content deals with the AFL, joining Foxtel in paying a record $4.5 billion for the rights until 2031, as well as Cricket, which cost Seven $65 million a year over the same period. There’s also a new content deal with Disney, which has recently started licensing more of its content after taking the bulk in-house within its Disney+ streaming platform.

More to come