The federal election campaign should breathe new life into a challenging television advertising market, regional broadcaster Prime Media Group says.
While current conditions were difficult, with weak forward bookings as advertisers remained cautious, chief executive Ian Audsley says the poll should give the market a boost.
"We think that the market will improve later in the year with an increase in demand that will be driven, in part, by the federal election in September," Mr Audsley said during Prime's results presentation on Wednesday.
Prime, which is a Seven Network affiliate and Queensland radio station operator, reported net profit of $44.6 million for the six months to December 31, down 71.4 per cent from the prior corresponding period.
The result was hurt by a $15 million writedown on the carrying value of its radio business.
Excluding the one-off charge, underlying net profit rose 21.1 per cent from the prior year, as Prime's television stations managed to grow advertising revenue in the half helped by high-rating Seven programs and despite Nine having the Olympics.
However, the company's radio stations struggled as the Queensland economy battled wild weather and job losses.
"Because we are geographically locked into Queensland, we suffer every ill that occurs there," Mr Audsley said.
"We think radio will continue to be tough for the foreseeable future.
"Radio is having to work extremely hard to convert in a very weak economic and ad-spend environment."
Mr Audsley said it was too early to assess the impact of the recent floods in Rockhampton and Gladstone.
"We think that will probably take another two months or so to wash out," he said.
At 1336 AEDT, Prime was down half a cent at $1.03.
Prime declared a fully-franked interim dividend of four cents per share.