Today Schibsted ASA (SCH) released its Q4 2010 report, which shows operating revenues of NOK 3.71 billion, underlying a growth of 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2009. Advertising revenues contributed with a growth of 13 per cent. The operating profit (EBITA) in Q4 was NOK 424 million, a growth of 22 per cent compared to the same period in 2009.
- I am very pleased that Schibsted Media Group for the sixth consecutive quarter can present a growth in quarterly result compared to the same period in the previous year. It is our best Q4 ever, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
- Together, we have managed to improve our products and strengthen the positions of our media houses and online classifieds operations. This has contributed to a growth in revenue. At the same time, we have benefited from improved advertising markets, especially in Norway and Sweden, Ryssdal says.
Strenghtened strategic pillars
Schibsted Media Group has during Q4 2010 completed the acquisition of French online operations Leboncoin.fr and initiated the process of a merger with Media Norge.
- These initiatives help to strengthen Schibsted’s foundation for innovation and growth. In this way, we contribute to good value creation for our owners and to safe and interesting jobs for our employees. We have through these moves strengthened both our strategic pillars Media Houses and Online classifieds, Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
- We are continuing to make efforts to adapt in a changing media sector. It is strong growth both in terms of traffic and revenues for our Online classifieds. At the same time, single-copy newspaper sales are experiencing a significant transition from print editions to digital products such as tablets and mobile phones. It will be important to find new models for user payment online, says Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Schibsted Media Group.
Highlights in Q4 2010
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2009.)
Improved results in Q4
• The Group made an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 424 million (348 million) in Q4 2010.
• Operating margin (EBITA) of 11 per cent (10%). Some non-recurring costs had a negative effect on the margin. The relocation to new premises in Sweden and weak performance in Hitta.se are examples of these.
• Increased investment in the roll-out of online classifieds and continued product development in established operations such as Finn.no.
• Underlying growth in operating revenues of 5 per cent.
• Underlying growth in advertising revenues of 13 per cent driven by progress in the online operations and in most of the print categories in Scandinavia.
Growth and improved margins for Media houses
• Underlying revenue growth of 2 per cent in Media Houses Scandinavia in Q4.
• The Media Houses Scandinavia EBITA margin rose from 8 to 9 per cent, driven by cost cuts, stronger positions, especially online, and improved advertising markets.
• Merger agreement with Media Norge in place. The merger is planned to be implemented on 13 May 2011.
Strong growth and improved margins for Online Classifieds. Continued rapid roll-out in new markets
• Underlying growth of 23 per cent in the Schibsted Media Group’s Online Classifieds operating revenues in Q4. The growth comes from both established markets and the portfolio of newly created classifieds websites.
• Growth of 32 per cent in the operating profit (EBITDA) of established Schibsted Classified Media operations.
• Schibsted Media Group is maintaining a rapid roll-out rate in new markets and this weighed on the operating profit by NOK 68 million in Q4, NOK 32 million more than in Q4 2009.
• At the end of November 2010, Schibsted Media Group acquired 50 per cent of the shares in Leboncoin.fr, and consequently now owns 100 per cent of one of Europe’s largest online classifieds companies.
• Schibsted Media Group has completed a profitability programme with an accumulated effect of NOK 1.7 billion. In Q4 2010 alone, the effect was NOK 100 million.
• Dividend for 2010 of NOK 3.00 per share proposed.