Australia's Nine Entertainment H1 profit rises 24 pct

SYDNEY Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:36pm EST

SYDNEY Feb 27 (Reuters) - Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd posted a 24.3 percent rise in its first-half underlying net profit on Thursday, as the company reported results for the first time following its initial public offering in December.

Nine, which competes with Seven Network and Ten Network for the free-to-air television market, said net profit after tax excluding one-off items was A$95 million for the six months ended December, from A$77 million a year ago, thanks to improved ratings.

Nine said the first-half result was "moderately stronger" than its prospectus had assumed, and said it remained confident of delivering the prospectus forecast for the full-year.

(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Leslie Adler)