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TVNZ melts Igloo pay TV investment

New Zealand pubcaster has written down its investment in low-cost digital pay TV service Igloo.

Kevin KenrickTVNZ had operated the service with pay TV provider Sky TV following its December 2012 launch.

Last year, TVNZ – which operates TV One and TV2 – sold 15% of its 49% minority stake to Sky for NZ$5.75 million (US$4.8 million) and yesterday said “uncertainty of the timing of future profits” meant it had decided to write down its remaining investment.

TVNZ’s half yearly results showed impairment charges for the year to December 31, 2013, were US$6 million. However, this didn’t stop the pubcaster posting an NZ$20.8 million profit.

Revenues were up 47% at NZ$201.9 million compared with the NZ$193.9 million posted in 2012.

TVNZ CEO Kevin Kenrick characterised the results as “encouraging” and added: “The highlight of our half year result is the strong growth in operating earnings, fuelled by increased advertising revenue and a 10% reduction in non-programming costs.”

The company pointed to its investments in digital media and saw a record 4.7 million TVNZ Ondemand streams in October. “One of the real success stories for this period has been the performance of TVNZ Ondemand, which is a huge hit with both our viewers and advertisers,” said Kendrick. “Total streams for the half year are up 88%.”

Sky TV, meanwhile, posted a half-year net profit of NZ$82.1 million on revenues of NZ$456.4 million earlier this week.