Destra hit by sales slump

Struggling digital media and marketing company Destra has announced a profit downgrade, just two months after billionaire Paul Ramsay’s Prime Media Group grabbed control of the company and removed founder Domenic Carosa as chief executive.

Destra expects to post a loss of $2.5 million to $3.5 million in the six months to 30 June, as a drop in retail sales weigh on DVD and CD sales. The company now expects to post earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and ammortisation of coincidentally the same amounts (between $2.5 million and $3.5 million) for the 2007-08 year, compared with pro-forma EBITDA of $10.8 million in 2006-07.

As well as blaming the earnings downgrade on “a deteriorating economic environment”, Destra singled out the poor box office takings of feature film August Rush , which Destra subsidiary Magna Pacific distributed in Australia. The film took just $637,802 at the box office, according to cinema website Box Office Mojo.

Destra has had a horror year. In April the company was rocked by the collapse of stock broker Opes Prime, which Carosa and major shareholder Paul Choiselat had used to finance large parcels of Destra shares. On top of this, Destra also used Opes Prime to finance the purchase of a 10% stake in television production company Beyond International. Destra has lost those shares and been forced to take a $900,000 loss on the holding.

Destra shares fell from 6.5c to 4.6c yesterday. In the past 12 months the shares have fallen 87% in the last 12 months.


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