(Updates with closing share price in sixth paragraph.)
Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Fairfax Media Ltd., Australia’s largest newspaper publisher after News Corp., doubled its cost cutting target to A$170 million ($181 million) after first-half profit fell 44 percent.
Net income dropped to A$96.7 million in the six months ended Dec. 25 from A$172.3 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. The result lagged the A$135 million average of three analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
The publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald will share more content across its outlets such as radio, newspapers and Internet to lower costs as it battles a slide in revenues amid falling circulation. Fairfax will also eliminate duplication by centralizing sales functions for advertising.
“Large parts of our current operating model are still geared to supporting the old business model,” Chief Executive Officer Greg Hywood said in the statement. “The difficult trading environment is likely to continue and the outlook remains uncertain.”
Trading revenue in January was 7.5 percent lower than the previous year, the company said.
Fairfax shares fell 0.6 percent to 82 Australian cents at the close in Sydney. The stock has gained 14 percent this year.
Fairfax also publishes the Australian Financial Review and Age newspapers.
--Editors: Iain Wilson, Suresh Seshadri
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