Ten Network reduces first-half losses; Unemployment down in March; Gender diversity improving in ASX top 200: Midday Roundup

Ten Network Holdings has announced its first-half results, which show it has reduced its losses considerably.

The company reported a net loss of $8 million after tax, compared to a reported net loss of $243.3 million for the previous corresponding period. Ten’s net debt was $35.9 million as of February 28, 2014.

Chief executive Hamish McLennan said in a statement the company’s results were due to higher programming costs, investment in premium sport content and a modest growth in the television advertising market.

“Our television revenue growth was ahead of the growth rate for the capital-city free-to-air television advertising market during the six months to February 28,” he says.

“That result was driven by the successful launch of the KFC T20 Big Bash League, which gave TEN its best summer ratings since 2008, and the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. But, as expected, the increase in revenue did not offset the investment in critical new content.”

Unemployment down in March

Australia’s unemployment rate has had a shock fall in March, dropping 0.2 percentage points, defying analyst predictions of a rise.

Unemployment is now at 5.8%, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released today.

The number of people employed increased by 18,100 for the month to 11,553,200. The driver of this was an increase in part-time jobs, up 40,200.

Despite this there was a fall in the number of full-time positions, down 22,100.

Gender diversity improving in ASX top 200

The ASX has released an independent report into the adoption of the ASX Corporate Governance Council’s gender diversity recommendations by listed entities.

It found the benefits of diversity are now well recognised. However, an entity’s size is the primary indicator of whether it will take up objectives and meet targets for female participation in leadership positions.

All S&P/ASX 200 companies had either adopted a diversity policy or explained why not in 2013, in comparison to 99% of ASX 201-500 and 97% of ASX 501+ companies for the same period.

Shares up on open

Aussie shares have opened higher this morning, on the back of Wall Street gains overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 31 points to 5494.8 at 12:02pm AEDT. Yesterday the Dow Jones closed 1.11% higher, up 181.04 points to 16,437.18.

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