Austereo Group Ltd says it is well placed to deliver improved earnings in 2006/07 after posting a lift in annual profit.Austereo posted a 3.1 per cent rise in net profit to $41.59 million for 2005/06.

The radio broadcaster said it anticipated city advertising revenue to grow in the first half.

“We anticipate capital city advertising revenue growth for the first half to December 06 at around two per cent,” said chairman Peter Harvie.

He said the new financial year had started with excellent audience survey results, with Austereo maintaining leadership and winning four of the five mainland city FM markets, and that sales in the first two months were on target.

“We are currently well placed to deliver improved earnings,” Mr Harvie said.

Mr Harvie said Austereo was also monitoring impending potential changes to Australia’s cross-media ownership laws with interest, and was also converting technical facilities in the anticipation of the introduction of digital radio.

“Radio holds a unique place amongst media, being exceptionally well placed to complement the new emerging digital platforms,

“As leader in commercial radio, this provides a strong and exciting outlook for the group,” Mr Harvie said.

© 2006 AAP