(+20.7% on 2017, -5.8% on a like-for-like basis)
(€13.0MN in 2017)
NET DEBT €110.0MN DOWN FROM A €115.1MN AT END OF 2017
LOAN AGREEMENT SIGNED FOR €100MN IN VIEW OF THE REPAYMENT OF THE CONVERTIBLE BOND IN APRIL 2019
Rome, April 26 2018 – Today in Rome, under the chairmanship of Marco De Benedetti, the Board of Directors of GEDI Gruppo Editoriale S.p.A. met and approved the consolidated results as of March 31 2018 as presented by Chief Executive Officer Monica Mondardini.
Performance of the market
In the first two months of 2018 advertising investment showed a slight decline (-0.3%) compared to the same period of the previous year (Nielsen Media Research figures). The media that reported the most positive dynamic were radio, with an increase of 5.1%, confirming the trend in progress since 2015, and the internet which, excluding search engines and social media, reported an increase in advertising orders of 2.6%; television orders were substantially in line with those of the previous year (+0.6%), while orders for the printed press again fell by 9.6%, with newspapers posting -8.7% (-12.9% for national advertising and -5.9% for local advertising) and magazines -11.1%. As for newspaper circulation, in the first two months of 2018 according to ADS figures (Accertamento Diffusione Stampa) there was a decline in sales on the newsstands and by subscription of 8.5%.
Performance of operations of the GEDI Group in the first quarter of 2018
It should be remembered that in the first quarter of 2017 the merger with the ITEDI Group had not yet taken place and thus for the main economic indicators illustrated below the changes compared to the first three months of 2017 are shown on a like-for-like basis with an equivalent consolidation perimeter.
Consolidated revenues, totalling €155.8mn, rose by 20.7% compared to the first quarter of 2017 (-5.8% on a like-for-like basis).
Circulation revenues came to €71.7mn and were up by 33.0% on those of the same period of last year but were down by 7.5% on a like-for-like basis in a market that, as stated above, reported a decline of 8.5% in newspaper circulation.
Advertising revenues rose by 14.3% compared to the first three months of 2017 but were down by 3.1% on a like-for-like basis. As for the Group media, advertising orders for radio grew by 4.4%, confirming the positive trend already seen in the previous year. Internet orders showed growth of 8.1% (+2.6% on a like-for-like basis, in line with the market trend). Lastly, orders for the printed press rose by 9.0% (-7.7% on a like-for-like basis, showing a performance that was slightly better than that of the sector as a whole). Costs were 24.9% higher than in the first quarter of 2017 but were 3.2% lower on a like-for-like basis; fixed personnel costs were lower (-1.9%) as were other costs (-4.0%). The consolidated gross operating margin was €11.4mn versus €13.0mn in the first quarter of 2017. The consolidated operating result came to €6.6mn, compared to €9.6mn in the first quarter of 2017. The consolidated net result was €3.0mn, down from €5.0mn in the first quarter of 2017 (€5.8mn on a like-for-like basis). Net debt stood at €110.0mn at March 31 2017, down from €115.1mn at the end of 2017. The Group had 2,439 employees at the end of March 2018 including temporary contracts, and the average number of employees for the period on a like-for like basis was 1.7% lower than in the first quarter of 2017. ***
The Company’s Director of Administration and Accounts, Mr Gabriele Acquistapace, the Executive responsible for the preparation of the company’s Financial Statements, hereby attests in compliance with the terms of paragraph 2 of Art. 154-bis of the “Testo Unico delle Finanze” (Finance Consolidation Act) that the figures contained in this press release correspond to the results documented in the Company’s accounts and general ledger.
Main events that have occurred since the close of the first quarter and outlook for the rest of the year
On April 16 2018 a loan agreement was signed by the Parent Company of GEDI Gruppo Editoriale SpA with four prime banks for a principal amount of €100mn and a duration of four years. The agreement involves compliance with a covenant of a financial nature based on the Net Debt to EBITDA ratio. In this way the Company is already refinanced in view of the repayment of the convertible bond issued in 2014 for an amount of €100mn which matures in April 2019.
As far as the evolution of 2018 is concerned, trends recorded in the first quarter are similar to those seen in the market for years, with the exception of some more positive signs from advertising in the second quarter.
To counter these trends the Group is continuing in its commitment to reap all the benefits of the merger with ITEDI, to develop its digital activities and to implement on a permanent basis rationalization measures to preserve profitability in a structurally difficult market.