The underlying growth was 2 percent. The Online classifieds segment increased its revenues underlying with 15 percent, 20 percent excluding Spain. The gross operating profit (EBITDA) was NOK 406 million (501 million). Excluding the Online classifieds Investment phase, the EBITDA increased to NOK 686 million from NOK 613 million in the corresponding quarter in 2012.
Acquisition of Milanuncios in Spain
“Schibsted has the aim of taking an active role in consolidation in online classifieds. Today we are delighted to announce that we have acquired the Spanish online classifieds site Milanuncios.com, which over the last few years have gained popularity in Spain. This reinforces our position as a clear leader in the Spanish online classifieds market, and enables us to deliver a broad range of great services to our Spanish users and advertisers. We have also teamed up with our competitor Avito in Morocco, creating a clear market leader,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Our key established online classifieds operations in Norway, Sweden and France ended 2013 on a strong note, with good growth rates and stable, high margins. We will continue with a long term strategy focusing on traffic growth and market leader-ship. Finn will turn free for certain private categories to boost user engagement. Parts of the private listings on Finn Torget will be turned into a ‘freemium’ model during 2014,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“We see good results of our increased investments in roll out of our online classifieds concepts in new markets. In Brazil, where we now have partnered up with Telenor, the growth was strong in Q4. We had a leading position ahead of OLX by the end of December,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Digital innovation in the media houses
“Our media houses are developing new online services at high speed. Mobile and web TV is getting increasingly popular, and after the launch of Aftenposten and Bergens Tidende’s new digital subscription products in Q4 all our main subscription newspapers have launched online user payment options. We are also building our competence and systems within advanced data analytics and payment services. This will help create the best solutions for our advertisers and users in the future,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Highlights of Q4 2013
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2012. Underlying figures are adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions and divestments.)
- Underlying group operating revenues increased 2 percent , with underlying online classifieds revenue up 15 percent. Excluding Spain, the growth was 20 percent
- EBITDA of NOK 406 million (501 million), and NOK 686 million (613 million) excluding investments in New Ventures in online classifieds.
- Online classifieds EBITDA margin of 16 percent (28%). 42 percent (42%) excluding investments in New Ventures
- Continued growth and high margins in Norway, Sweden and France
- Agreed to acquire Milanuncios.com, reinforcing the position as a clear market leader in the Spanish online classifieds market
- Buy-out of minorities in DoneDeal.ie. Joining forces with competitor in Morocco, creating a strong market leader
- Strong growth in key performance indicators like number of new ads in the investment phase sites, including Brazil
- Emerging markets roll out strengthened through new joint venture with Telenor, which was established in Q4
- Online growth and cost reductions secure stable margins in media houses
- Online advertising growth of 9 percent in the media houses. Mobile and web TV are key drivers
- Continued significant decline for print advertising and circulation
- Digital transition and cost efficiency programs progress as planned
- Dividend proposed at NOK 3.50 per share for 2013