At the Board meeting on 13 August 2009, the Board of Directors of Schibsted ASA approved the Interim Financial Statement as of June 30, 2009. Please find enclosed the Interim Report for first half-year 2009.
Highlights in Q2 2009
Weak advertising markets leads to profit decline. Continued online revenue growth
The profitability programme is on schedule; freeing-up of capital is continued
(Figures in brackets show the figures for the corresponding period in 2008.)
For the Group as a whole, the operating revenues fell by 12 per cent. The organic growth rate was -9 per cent. Advertising revenues declined by 20 per cent.
The Group made a Q2 operating profit (EBITA) of NOK 184 million (NOK 422 million). After adjusting for impairment and other restructuring costs related to associates, the EBITA was NOK 217 million.
Schibsted’s online activities are continuing to grow despite the weak real economic climate’s severe effect on the advertising markets. The online operating revenues increased by 5 per cent in Q2. The operating margin came to 19 per cent.
Rising unemployment and weak real estate markets due to the downturn in the real economy have resulted in a considerable decline in print-based advertising markets. This particularly applies to classified ads. At the same time, some advertising categories are showing signs of a certain levelling out. The cyclical recruitment advertising market is shrinking also online.
On June 1 2009, Rolv Erik Ryssdal took over as Schibsted’s new CEO.
Schibsted’s profitability programme is intended to produce a NOK 1 billion effect in 2009. The programme is going according to plan and had a NOK 250 million effect in Q2 isolated. In total, the profitability programme has had a NOK 400 million effect. The programme has resulted in the number of employees being cut by 430 in the first half-year.
Schibsted is continuing the work of focusing on core operations and freeing up capital. Metronome Film & Television was sold in Q2, as was 36.3 per cent of Polaris Media. The Secondamano classified ads operations in Italy were also sold in June.
Media Norge was established as a company in Q2.
In July 2009, Schibsted carried out a successful rights issue and raised approx NOK 1.3 billion in new equity. At the end of Q2, the net interest-bearing debt was 2.9 times the EBITDA last 12 months, including the effect of the rights issue, everything else being equal.
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, August 14 2009
Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations