Improved EBITDA and robust financial position
“In a more challenging market caused by macroeconomic developments, underlying¹ Group revenues increased by 3 per cent compared to Q4 last year. In this context, I am happy to report that Group EBITDA ended 3 per cent above Q4 last year at NOK 651 million, breaking the downward trend seen over the last quarters. The positive EBITDA development was driven by great efforts in all our business areas,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“Driven by double-digit growth in classifieds revenues, Nordic Marketplaces delivered underlying² revenue growth of 6 per cent in Q4. The revenue growth was driven by Real estate, Motors and the transactional Generalist offering ‘Fiks Ferdig’ in Norway, while Jobs and advertising revenues declined due to market headwinds. EBITDA ended at NOK 430 million, 1 per cent down from last year driven by Marketplaces Norway. This was a result of a change in revenue mix, and continued investments to drive new business models,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“Our News Media operations faced a more challenging advertising market, particularly within print. Driven by resilient subscription revenues, underlying² revenues were still in line with last year. EBITDA margin ended at 9 per cent, up from the previous quarter due to tighter cost control which will tighten further going forward. As announced on 24 January, News Media has started implementing cost measures, targeting gross cost savings of NOK 500 million over the next two years, in order to improve profitability and to bring its EBITDA margin back to the target range of 10-12 per cent in 2024,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“Financial Services & Ventures delivered strong profitability, with EBITDA at NOK 109 million, driven by good revenue growth and cost control. In particular Prisjakt and MittAnbud reported improved profitability, and Lendo continued to deliver double-digit revenue growth due to its Swedish and Norwegian operations,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“As part of the more focused capital allocation strategy within the Group, Lendo on 31 January announced that it shifts its strategic focus, accelerating its market leading position in the Scandinavian markets, and consequently plans to cease operations in Finland, Spain, Portugal and Italy. The strategic review of Lendo will continue in parallel,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“Further, in Q4 we sold down 2 per cent of our Adevinta holding and entered into a total return swap (TRS) agreement for another 3 per cent. This enabled us to increase our financial capacity to reduce our financial leverage, and to initiate a share buy back programme which we see as value creative in the present market environment. Using a TRS enabled us to reduce our financial leverage while we maintain exposure to Adevinta’s share price development, showcasing our support of the strategy and further value creation potential by the company,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“Finally, the Board will propose to pay a dividend of NOK 2.00 per share for 2022, in line with last year and our dividend policy,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“To sum up, we have navigated the rough seas of 2022 solidly and have used Q4 to further adapt to the changes around us, focusing on bringing costs down and adjusting our capital allocation. I am now looking forward to a year where we will double down on succeeding with the verticalisation of Nordic Marketplaces, ensure robustness and continued digitalisation of our world-class News Media operations, and manage and grow our investments with focus on value creation,” CEO Kristin Skogen Lund says.
This quarter’s highlights
- Group: Underlying¹ revenue growth of 3 per cent, EBITDA at NOK 651 million.
- Nordic Marketplaces: 6 per cent underlying² revenue growth, driven by double-digit revenue growth in classifieds while advertising was down. EBITDA at NOK 430 million, 1 per cent down from last year, driven by Marketplaces Norway while the remaining countries increased EBITDA year-on-year.
- News Media: Underlying² revenues in line with last year as resilient subscription revenues curbed the decline in advertising. EBITDA margin of 9 per cent, down year-on-year but up quarter-on-quarter due to tighter cost control. Gross cost reductions of NOK 500 million over the next two years announced on 24 January.
- eCommerce & Distribution: Returned to revenue growth and positive EBITDA, driven by higher B2C and C2C volumes in the parcel delivery business.
- Financial Services & Ventures: Strong profitability driven by good revenue growth and cost control. Lendo continued its strong growth momentum, growing underlying¹ revenues 16 per cent, and announced plans to cease operations in Finland, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Improved profitability in Prisjakt and MittAnbud.
- Dividend of NOK 2.00 per share will be proposed for 2022.
|Fourth quarter||Year to date|
|– of which digital||2,821||2,635||7%||10,563||9,557||11%|
Alternative performance measures used in this release are described and presented in the section Definitions and reconciliations in the quarterly report.
Programme for the day, 10 February 2023:
Publication of the Q4 results including interim report, presentation and financials and analytical information.
CEO Kristin Skogen Lund and CFO Ragnar Kårhus will present the Q4 results as a virtual live webcast, including a Q&A session. The presentation and following Q&A session will be held in English. The webcast can be viewed live at:
It will not be possible to physically attend the presentation.
For the Q&A, participants can send in written questions via Slido.
Event code: 2283495
It will not be possible to ask questions by phone.
A recording of the presentation will be available on our IR website shortly after the live webcast has ended.
Oslo, 10 February 2023
¹ Foreign exchange neutral basis and adjusted for sold operations
² Foreign exchange neutral basis