August 9, 2012 / 11:27 PM / 6 years ago

Australia's Fairfax Media mulls $1 bln writedown - report

MELBOURNE, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Australian newspaper publisher Fairfax Media is considering a writedown of more than A$1 billion ($1.06 billion) on the value of its top newspapers, a report in a rival newspaper said on Friday.

The board of Fairfax was meeting on Friday to discuss the writedown, which could be announced with the profit results on Aug. 23, according to The Australian newspaper, which is owned by News Corp.

The market capitalisation of Fairfax is just A$1.25 billion, while goodwill and intangibles last year were put at A$5.3 billion, the report said.

The share price has slumped by one-third over the past year to a record low, with the losses continuing even as mining magnate Gina Rinehart lifted her stake in the publisher.

Fairfax, which publishes The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, and other media groups are struggling with downturns in circulation and a slide in advertising revenue as traditional media are challenged by online options.

Both Fairfax and News Corp have announced massive job cuts and cost-cutting programmes.

This week, News Corp announced a $2.85 billion pre-tax impairment and restructuring charge, mainly linked to its Australian publishing business. (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by John Mair)

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