- We are happy to be able to show such good results after 18 months in which all of us have made a collective effort to turn every stone in order to strengthen the company for the future. The results produced in the second quarter of 2010 shows that Schibsted is a solid company that is able to secure both good development for our media houses and at the same time continued growth and high profitability in our online classifieds operations, CEO of Schibsted Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Ryssdal says that the Group's comprehensive profitability programme is the main reason behind the profitability improvement.
- We carried out additional profitability measures of NOK 150 million in the second quarter, bringing the total up to NOK 1.5 billion. This means that we are slightly ahead of schedule; hence, we will be able to implement profitability measures totaling NOK 1.7 billion by the end of 2011, Ryssdal states.
- We have also been helped by the advertising markets, which have leveled out or expanded in most of our markets, Ryssdal says.
Charging for digital content
In Q2 2010 Schibsted's advertising revenues increased underlying by 15 per cent compared to the same period in 2009. Circulation revenues decreased by 4 per cent, mainly as a consequence of falling circulation volumes for single copy sold tabloid newspapers.
- We are concerned about the decline in circulation volume for single copy sold newspapers, VG and Aftonbladet in particular. We are also placing considerable attention to the question of how to charge for digital content, since this will be a reality anytime soon, Ryssdal says.
Highlights in Q2 2010
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2009.)
Record results in Q2
· In Q2 2010, the Group made an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 509 million (184 million) - Schibsted's best quarterly result ever.
· Operating margin (EBITA) of 14 per cent (6%).
· The improvement is due to continued online growth combined with the effect of the Group's profitability programme and improvements in the Scandinavian advertising markets.
· Underlying growth in operating revenues of 6 per cent.
· The underlying advertising revenues rose by 15 per cent compared to Q2 2009, driven by improvements in online operations and in most print categories in Scandinavia.
· The Media Houses Scandinavia increased their underlying revenues by 3 per cent in Q2. The margin increased from 2 to 7 per cent, driven by cost cuts and stronger advertising markets.
· Schibsted continued with its profitability programme in Q2. The accumulated effect of the measures is NOK 1.5 billion since 2008. The measures have taken effect slightly more quickly than planned and the programme is expected to produce a total effect of NOK 1.7 billion by the end of 2011.
Good growth and higher margins for Online Classifieds
· Schibsted's Online Classifieds business area achieved underlying growth in operating revenues of 21 per cent in Q2. This growth came from both established markets and the portfolio of newly established classified ads websites.
· Online Classifieds increased its operating margin (EBITA) from 21 to 30 per cent in Q2.
Refinancing in place
· Schibsted has refinanced its loan portfolio and entered into new long-term loan agreements with a total amount of EUR 500 million.
· The new facilities mean a much lower net interest margin compared to the level during the past year.