ASX 200

Nine Entertainment posts record profits, Pendal accepts Perpetual takeover bid and Origin Energy announces climate transition plan

Go to Louis Allen author's page
By Louis Allen - 
Nine Entertainment NEC profits Pendal PDL Perpetual takeover bid Origin Energy ORG Lynas Rare Earths LYC Whitehaven Coal WHC ASX

Nine Entertainment’s profits were driven by a growth in subscriptions on top of a buoyant advertising market.


Media company Nine Entertainment (ASX: NEC) has experienced a 35% rise in full-year net profits to $315 million, allowing the company to announce a record dividend payment and proposed $341 million buyback.

The company’s profits were driven by a growth in subscriptions, as well as a buoyant advertising market.

Nine chief executive officer Mike Sneesby said the record figures are a result of the team remaining focused on “the things that matter most”.

“We have continued to make key programming decisions, through the Total Television lens, across broadcast and streaming, and this has resulted in growth in revenue and profitability, and audiences across a number of our key programs,” he said.

Nine will pay a fully franked dividend of $0.07 per share on 20 October, taking the full-year dividend to $0.14 per share, which is the highest since it listed on the ASX in 2013.

Its broadcast and publishing businesses reported record results, with growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for both reaching 21% and 53%, respectively.

Nine aims to launch a year-long share buyback commencing 12 September to acquire up to 10% of its issued capital.

Pendal Group and Perpetual

Fund manager Pendal Group (ASX: PDL) has accepted a takeover bid from rival Perpetual (ASX: PPT) for $2.5 billion.

The deal was unanimously recommended by Pendal’s board, with Perpetual acquiring full ownership of the company, with shareholders receiving one Perpetual share for every 7.5 Pendal shares held, plus $1.976 cash per Pendal share.

The accepted bid represents a $0.306 per share increase on the initial offer received back in April.

Pendal’s board said the transaction will combine two major Australian financial services firms to create “Australia’s pre-eminent global asset manager”.

Pendal chair Deborah Page said the revised offer is pleasing and a result of extensive engagement between the companies.

“The scheme consideration recognises the value Pendal has created as a home to some of the most respected investment talent in the world, with sustainable and impact investing capability and an impressive global distribution footprint,” she said.

The acquisition will close at the end of 2022 or early 2023, with Perpetual chief executive officer Rob Adams expected to lead the combined group.

Lynas Rare Earths

Lynas Rare Earths (ASX: LYC) has reported record full-year net profit after tax of $540.8 million, up from $151.8 million last year, a jump of 244%.

A surge experienced in the second half came on the back of strong demand for non-China supply of materials used in the electrification of the global economy.

The Australian miner is the major non-Chinese supplier of rare earths across the globe, from its Mount Weld mine in Western Australia and processing facilities in Malaysia.

The company’s 2022 financial year ended with $965.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, allowing it to drive forward with its expansion plans.

Lynas managing director Amanda Lacaze said the cash position enables the company to proceed in its growth plans with confidence.

“This is important as Lynas is uniquely positioned with a resilient supply chain for rare earth materials from our facilities in Western Australia and Malaysia to our partners in Vietnam, Japan and Europe,” she said.

Ms Lacaze praises the company’s efforts, recording record profits amid shipping delays, input cost increases and water supply issues affecting its Malaysian processing plant.

Origin Energy

Energy giant Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) has announced a new climate transition plan to aid efforts in transitioning to the future of a net-zero economy.

The company confirmed the plan entails medium-term and long-term targets, setting the overall target of net-zero by 2050.

Origin chief executive officer Frank Calabria said the company’s first Climate Transition Action Plan is a huge milestone.

“We recognise that a significant proportion of our emissions result from our customers’ use of the energy products we sell, or our Scope 3 emissions,” he said.

Origin has been making efforts towards decarbonising the business already, announcing the closure of the coal-fired Eraring plant by 2025.

On top of this, a big battery is being developed at its Eraring site and the energy giant hopes to expand renewable energy and storage capacity to 4 gigawatts by 2030.

Origin’s new climate transition plan will be voted on at its Annual General Meeting on 19 October.

Whitehaven Coal

Coal producer Whitehaven Coal (ASX: WHC) has posted its full-year results for the 2022 financial year, recording $3.06 billion in earnings before tax, and a net profit after tax of $2 billion.

The company’s earnings before tax increased by 1,396% year-on-year, with the main contributor being a record coal price for the year of $325 per tonne, tripling the figure for the previous financial year.

The record figures were achieved despite COVID-19 related absences, labour constraints, and weather events, which disturbed Whitehaven’s operations throughout the year.

Whitehaven chief executive officer Paul Flynn said the constraints on the global coal supply caused by the war in Ukraine also contributed to the results as it led to new customers.

“We are seeing emerging interest in Europe, obviously given the energy security concerns that are playing out there,” he said.

Mr Flynn remains optimistic for the future of Whitehaven’s products.

“Governments around the world have stimulated investment in intermittent energy, not reliable energy,” he said.

“I think we’re playing a very important and critical role in the energy supply mix.”