- Q3 2011 was a satisfactory quarter for Schibsted Media Group. Our Online Classifieds business continues to show good revenue and earnings growth in spite of higher in-vestment in rolling out business operations in new markets. Our Media Houses are showing slightly weaker earnings compared with very good results in Q3 last year, but they are still showing good overall margins, the structural decline of single copy sold newspapers taken into consideration. The new marketplaces we are launching online in Scandinavia are performing well, in particular thanks to good help from the strong online positions of our media houses and online classifieds businesses, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
- In recent months, unrest in the world economy has had an impact on the performance of our most important advertising markets. Schibsted experienced a slight decline in the advertising revenues from print newspapers in Q3. The structural shift in the direction of digital media continues. We are continuing our efforts to reinforce our editorial and commercial products in combination with tight cost control. This work is even more important now in these uncertain times. In Q3 we announced measures that will entail an annual reduction in our costs in the range of NOK 190-210 million, Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
- The established Online Classifieds businesses Finn, Blocket and Leboncoin continue to grow. Schibsted's international expansion in the Online Classifieds area continues. Our Brazilian version of the Blocket concept is well underway. In Italy, Austria and Malaysia we are nearing the end of the investment phase and will soon be entering a profitable phase as market leaders, says CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal.
Highlights in Q3 2011
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2010.)
Revenue growth and high margins in Q3
• Underlying growth in operating revenues of 5 per cent.
• Group EBITDA was NOK 531 million in Q3 2011 (NOK 567 million).
• Adjusted for increased investments in Online Classifieds, EBITDA was NOK 575 million.
• Advertising revenues rose underlying 9 per cent, driven primarily by an improvement in online operations.
• Net interest-bearing debt remained stable compared to Q2 2011.
Good earnings and online growth in media houses
• Media Houses Scandinavia achieved underlying reve-nue growth of 1 per cent in Q3. The EBITDA margin was 13 per cent, which is considered to be a good result given the structural decline of single copy newspapers.
• Declining circulation for single-copy sales newspapers partly compensated for by price increases and cost cuts.
• Cost reductions with an annual effect of NOK 190-210 million for the Scandinavian newspaper operations de-cided. Effects to be realised during 2012 -2014, primarily in 2012.
• Good revenue and earnings improvement for the online operations in the media houses. Online consumer services related to e-commerce and personal finance in Sweden showed particularly good growth. Corresponding concepts are being established in Norway.
Strong growth and high margins for Online Classifieds
• Underlying operating revenue growth of 18 per cent for Online Classifieds.
• EBITDA growth of 33 per cent for established Schibsted Classified Media operations.
• Stronger focus on growth in new markets for Schibsted Classified Media. Blocket concept introduced in additional new countries in Q3 2011, including Brazil.
• Growth initiatives had an impact of NOK 117 million on the Q3 EBITDA. This is NOK 44 million more than in Q3 2010, primarily as a result of increased marketing.
• Leboncoin.fr continues to show growth in traffic and revenues and is one of Europe's largest online classifieds businesses.
• Acquisition of the online classifieds market leader in Ireland DoneDeal.ie.
• Subito.it in Italy and Willhaben.at in Austria have rein-forced their positions as market leaders, and break even is expected in Q4 2011.