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Media group John Fairfax – now a major player in the Internet space, reported a 5 per cent increase in half-year profit to $125 million after mixed trading conditions in January and February and also restructured its board.

Media group John Fairfax – now a major player in the Internet space, reported a 5 per cent increase in half-year profit to $125 million after mixed trading conditions in January and February and also restructured its board.

Including $13 million in redundancy costs for 135 employees and a significant gain of $4.4 million from AAP Information Services as a result of asset sales, total net profit after tax was about $120 million, down 4.6 per cent on the prior first half.

The company announced the acquisition of Trade Me, New Zealand’s leading auction house – and its biggest Internet service – for A$626 million. Trade Me accounts for more than 60 per cent of New Zealand’s Web traffic, with 1.2 million members who are expected to host 35 million auctions this year.

The company reported booming Internet revenues and profits from the improved market positions for Fairfax Digital. EBITDA was $12 million compared to
$1.2 million in the prior first half.

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