May 21, 2019 / 12:29 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Seven West Media cuts FY guidance on weaker market, shares dip

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May 21 (Reuters) - Australian free-to-air television broadcaster Seven West Media on Tuesday cut its annual earnings guidance citing softer market conditions, especially in the advertising sector, its largest moneymaker.

Seven’s margins have come under pressure of late due to video streaming avenues such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The company’s dependence on advertising revenue has also pressured earnings, as advertisers shift to cheaper and wider-reaching internet alternatives such as Alphabet Inc .

Seven now expects underlying earnings before interest and tax for the year to June 30 to be in the range of A$210 million to A$220 million ($145.4 million-$152.3 million), compared with its previous target of flat to 5% growth.

Underlying EBIT for fiscal 2018 was A$235.6 million.

Net cost reduction for fiscal 2019 will be at the top end of its A$30 million to A$40 million range, Seven said in a statement. The company also intends to reduce net debt by about A$75 million in the year.

Earlier this year, the company had clocked weaker interim earnings as a drop in advertising revenue offset its cost-cutting measures.

Shares of the company were about 3% lower after the announcement, compared with a slightly weaker broader market .

$1 = 1.4447 Australian dollars Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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