Interim Financial Statement per 31.12.2008

Schibsted ASA (SCH) , Published 27/02/2009 06:59:00

At the Board meeting on 26 February 2009, the Board of Directors of Schibsted ASA approved the Interim Financial Statement as of December 31, 2008. Please find enclosed the Interim Report for Q4 2008.
Information online:
Highlights in Q4 2008 – Weak classified ads markets, but continued good online growth

(Figures in brackets show the figures for the corresponding period in 2007.)
Weak classified ads markets, but continued good online growth
  •          The Group made a Q4 operating profit (EBITA) before income from associated companies of NOK 80 million (NOK 221 million). Including effects from associated companies, EBITA was NOK -100 million (NOK 247 million). Adjusted for impairment cost and restructuring charges relating to associates, the Group made an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 62 million.
  •          The revenues from the Schibsted Group’s online activities grew by 17 percent to NOK 864 million in Q4. The operating margin was 10 percent (13%).
  •          Higher unemployment and weak real estate markets as a result of the financial crisis transforming into a real economic crisis have led to considerable falls in all of Schibsted’s printed classified ads markets. Online classified ads are also affected in the form of a weaker growth rate or, for some categories, a decline.
  •          The Group’s total operating revenues fell by 2 percent in Q4, with advertising revenues falling by 7 percent.
  •          The online-based classified ads operations in Scandinavia and Southern Europe are continuing to grow and deliver high margins.
  •          Product development and price increases relating to editorial products counteract the effect of VG’s and Aftonbladet’s reduced circulation volumes.
    Extensive cost cuts and structural moves 
  •          Schibsted is applying strong measures to counteract the effect of the financial crisis and secure manoeuvrability financially. An extensive profitability programme with a combined effect of NOK 1 billion has been implemented in 2009.
  •          There will be an increased focus on structural measures. The establishment of Media Norge is continuing and Aftonbladet’s and Svenska Dagbladet’s operations will be coordinated in a new Schibsted Sverige.
  •          Investments in organic projects will be considerably less in 2009 than in 2008.
  •          The Group has agreed with its banking partners upon new financial covenants in its loan agreements, to ensuring greater financial flexibility. This gives room for manoeuvre and time to implement appropriate measures. 
  •          The Board of Directors proposes to distribute dividend of NOK 2.00 per share (NOK 6.00).

    SCHIBSTED GROUP -Consolidated results per 31 December 2008
    1) Operating profit before impairment loss and other revenues and expenses.
    Contact person:
    CFO Trond Berger, tel: +47 91 68 66 95
    Oslo, 27 February 2009
    Jo Christian Steigedal
    VP Investor Relations