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Seven in good shape: Stokes

|Mar 11|magazine5 min read
"I am pleased to report that Seven Network Limited has come through a tough twelve months for the economy, and is in good shape today," Mr Stokes told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney today.
Mr Stokes said the federal government's fiscal stimulus and bank guarantee had left Australia in a "unique position" and the "envy of the world".
"Today, we are seeing the recovery and economic stability returning," Mr Stokes said.
"We are looking forward to a strengthening in the Australian economy, and as a result, advertising demand, following a much-canvassed decline over the past twelve months."
Mr Stokes noted that the better-than-expected economic outcome had "encouraged" the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to raise interest rates.
"I hope that enthusiasm for higher interest rates now becomes tempered with the sustainability for the entire economy," Mr Stokes said.
"In this fragile environment, interest rates are a very blunt tool."
The RBA has lifted the cash rate by a quarter of a percentage point in each of the past two months.
Mr Stokes said the Seven Network was "the only company in Australia with strategic shareholdings across a portfolio of strongly-performing media businesses".
Seven Media Group holds the company's broadcast TV, magazine and online assets.
Seven Network also has a stake in West Australian Newspapers Holdings Ltd and Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd.
ConsMedia owns 25 per cent of Foxtel and 50 per cent of Premier Media Group, which produces the Fox Sports channels.
Mr Stokes said ConsMedia was a "well-managed and successful" company.
"Its strategic investments in Foxtel and Fox Sports provide your company with a significant opportunity to play a key role in the further development of subscription television in Australia," Mr Stokes said.
Seven appointed Peter Gammell and Ryan Stokes as directors to the ConsMedia board earlier this year.
"I am pleased to report that our two companies are united in our support for Consolidated Media's plans for future growth," Mr Stokes said.