Good morning, everybody, and welcome. My name is Brett Chenoweth and I'm the CEO of APN News and Media. I want to thank you for joining us this morning.
Today we'll be taking you through our interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2012. I will overview our key financial results and the operational highlights of each of our businesses, and then our CFO, Peter Myers, will then present some of the more detailed financials. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes, I would think. Then I'll close the presentation with a short summary and our outlook for the Company. Then, of course, as usual, we'll have questions.
In terms of the key features of our results for the half -- and I want to, importantly, context this and frame them in the environment of a very tough advertising market in Australia and New Zealand, as I'm sure you're all aware; but in that context there have been some key elements to this announcement and this result that I wanted to highlight.
Firstly, net profit after tax, before exceptional items, was AUD19 million for the half. This is in line with the guidance that I provided to you in our AGM in May.
Secondly, publishing remains very challenging, particularly in our New Zealand media division. We've done a couple of material things though in this half. Firstly, we have done all of the work and we are currently in the process of relaunching the New Zealand Herald. That will happen on the 10th of September. I'll talk about that shortly; and we have done a number of things this half, that are earnings [secretive] initiatives in both our Australian and our New Zealand publishing businesses.
Our Radio, Digital and Outdoor assets have all performed very well during the half, and we have had an active strategic agenda, with two major transactions in the half. Firstly, we established the APN Outdoor joint venture with Quadrant to pursue growth initiatives in Outdoor.
Secondly, we acquired 82% of leading e-commerce, business brandsExclusive, and our digital strategy is now well advanced. Importantly, and significantly, we reduced net debt during the half by AUD168 million and we also announced a strategic review of our New Zealand assets at the AGM in May. The review, which is being conducted by Deutsche Bank, is ongoing and we will update the market in respect of further progress at an appropriate time.