Australia's Ten Network posts worse annual loss, plans $190 mln refinance

SYDNEY Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:58pm EDT

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SYDNEY Oct 17 (Reuters) - Australian broadcaster Ten Network Holdings reported a worse full-year loss of A$285 million ($271.59 million) on Thursday, and proposed a new financing plan to invest in building ratings.

Ten, the country's third-ranked commercial network, has been struggling to find hit shows and has lost market share to top-ranked competitor Seven Network and the Nine Network, controlled by Nine Entertainment Co Pty Ltd IPO-NEL.AX.

The result for the year ending August compared with a net loss of A$12.9 million a year ago, and was impacted by one-off charges of A$336.2 million, including a large TV impairment charge, the company said.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had, on average, expected a net profit of less than A$1 million.

Ten also announced a proposed new four-year A$200 million ($190.59 million) debt facility from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, guaranteed by the network's major shareholders which included non-executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch and Crown Ltd chairman James Packer.

"The board and management of Ten recognise time and financial investment are required to build ratings and revenue, which is why a new financing facility is proposed," said chief executive officer and managing director Hamish McLennan.

Like last year, Ten said it would not be paying any dividend.

Ten shares closed at A$0.29 on Wednesday, nearly flat for this year against a 13 percent gain in the broader market.

($1 = 1.0494 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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