Schibsteds Q4 2011 report shows operating revenues of NOK 3.7 billion, underlying an increase of 4 per cent compared to the same period in 2010. Advertising revenues contributed with a growth of 9 per cent. EBITDA in Q4 was NOK 531 million, compared to NOK 567 million in the same period in 2010. The Online classifieds operations increased their revenues by 18 percent, whereas the Media Houses had unchanged revenues. In Q4 2011 the EBITDA was NOK 549 million, compared to NOK 562 million in Q4 2010. This implies an unchanged EBITDA margin of 15 percent.
- Our online classifieds services have continued to grow both in the form of operating revenues and result, adjusted for investments in new markets. The growth in France was particularly strong, with Leboncoin.fr reporting a significant revenue increase and sustained high operating margins, Mr Ryssdal says.
- We continue to develop online classifieds in new markets. This is a strategy in which we are confident will result in future value creation. This is proven by our new initiatives in Italy and Austria. These two initiatives reported a profit in Q4 2011 and are entering 2012 as market leaders, Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Increasing digital revenues
- Our media houses have also had a good quarter. Revenues generated by the Scandinavian media houses remain un-changed compared to last year's figures, while the margin increased from 12 to 13 percent. Digital revenues are increasing, while print media are experiencing negative structural pressure. At the same time, the turbulent situation in the global economy has affected the development in our most important advertising markets negatively. We are, however, delighted to register positive results from our investments into quality content combined with cost awareness and cooperation within the Schibsted group where that is natural. An important contributor to this will be the establishment of Schibsted Norge, a unit which comprises VG, Media Norge and Schibsted Forlag, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Highlights in Q4 2011
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2010.)
- 18 percent growth for Online Classifieds and continued margin improvement for Established activities.
- Stable operating revenues and growth in margin for Media Houses Scandinavia.
- Underlying growth in operating revenues for the Group of 4 percent.
- The Group's EBITDA was NOK 549 million in Q4 2011 (NOK 562 million).
- Adjusted for growth initiatives for Online Classifieds, EBITDA was NOK 701 million (NOK 630 million).
- Profit before taxes was NOK 152 million (NOK 1,842 million), negatively affected by a goodwill impairment loss in 20 Minutes Spain of NOK 111 million. The Q4 2010 profit included gains of a total of NOK 1.5 billion.
Strong growth and high margins for Online Classifieds.
- Revenue growth of 23 percent (underlying) for established Schibsted Classified Media operations. Finn.no achieved an underlying growth of 19 percent.
- Revenues for Leboncoin.fr showed an increase of 68 percent in Q4 and the website is now one of Europe's largest Online Classified businesses when measured in terms of traffic.
- Growth initiatives reduced EBITDA by NOK 152 million in Q4. This is NOK 84 million more than in Q4 2010, primarily due to increased marketing.
- Subito.it in Italy and Willhaben.at in Austria have strengthened their positions as market leaders, and were profitable in Q4.
Increased margins and online growth for Media Houses Scandinavia.
- Circulation decline for single-copy sales newspapers is partly offset by price increases and cost reductions.
- Cost reductions with an annual effect of NOK 190-210 million decided for the Scandinavian newspaper business. The effect of these reductions will be in 2012-2014, predominantly in 2012.
- Good increase in revenues and improvement in earnings for online activities in the media houses. Growth in traffic and revenues for mobile services.
- Positive development in online consumer services related to e-commerce and personal finance in Sweden. Similar concepts are currently being established in Norway.
- The establishment of Schibsted Norge has been approved. VG, Schibsted Forlag and the companies which currently constitute Media Norge are included.
- Schibsted's Board of Directors has decided to propose a dividend increase for 2011 to NOK 3.50 from NOK 3.00 in 2010.