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These materials are not an offer for sale of securities. The securities referenced herein have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act. The company does not intend to register any part of the offering in the United States or to conduct a public offering of securities in the United States.
At the Board meeting on 14 May 2009, the Board of Directors of Schibsted ASA approved the Interim Financial Statement as of March 31, 2009. Please find enclosed the Interim Report for Q1 2009.
Highlights in Q1 2009
Weak advertising markets, but continued good online growth
Proposed rights issue strengthens balance sheet and secures solid foundation for online growth
(Figures in brackets show the figures for the corresponding period in 2008.)
The weak real economy climate has had a considerable negative effect on the advertising markets. Nonetheless, Schibsted’s online activities are continuing to grow. The online operating revenues rose by 10 per cent during Q1. The operating margin was 11 per cent.
Growing unemployment and poor real estate markets resulting from the slump in the real economy led to a significant weakening of print advertising markets, especially the print classified ads market. Online classified ads markets that are cyclically sensitive, such as the recruitment market, are also shrinking.
For the Group as a whole, the operating revenues fell by 10 per cent, with the advertising revenues decreasing by 18 per cent.
Group made an operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 5 million (NOK 283 million) in Q1. After adjusting for impairment loss and other restructuring costs in connection with associates, the EBITA was NOK 19 million.
Cash flow from operating activities (NOK 116 million), in line with Q1 2008 despite weaker profits in Q1 2009.
Schibsted’s profitability programme is intended to have a NOK 1 billion effect in 2009. This programme is going according to plan and produced a NOK 150 million effect in Q1. The number of employees has been reduced by 150 in Q1 through this programme.
Schibsted Sverige was established and a group management group has been appointed.
Metronome Film & Television was sold for SEK 719 million in April 2009. This transaction reduces the net interest-bearing debt by SEK 680 million.
Rolv Erik Ryssdal has been appointed the new CEO of Schibsted. He will succeed Kjell Aamot on June 1, 2009.
Schibsted intends to launch a rights offering of approximately NOK 1.3 billion
The rights issue will be fully underwritten. Blommenholm Industrier and Folketrygdfondet have committed to subscribe to their pro-rata 28.0% and 6.8% share of the offering respectively (based on shares outstanding). Leading invest-ment banks will underwrite the remaining amount. Taube Hodson Stonex Partners LLP (10.0%) is supportive of the transaction.
Schibsted plans to close the transaction by mid-July 2009
New equity strengthens our balance sheet, reducing group leverage while we continue to grow profitable online segments of our business
Schibsted continues the work to free up capital by review-ing for possible divestment operations regarded as non-core to our growth strategy
Operating profit (EBITA) before income from associated companies1)
Income from associated companies
Operating profit (EBITA) 1)
Other revenues and expenses
Profit before taxes
1) Operating profit before impairment loss and other revenues and expenses.
CFO Trond Berger, tel: +47 91 68 66 95
Oslo, 15 May 2009
Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations