Tallinn, Estonia, 2013-11-01 17:15 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
In the 3rd quarter of this year, Ekspress Grupp earned net profit of EUR 0.5 million which is 73% higher than in the same period last year. EBITDA totalled EUR 1.4 million, which is 9% lower than last year. We are not satisfied with either result as we were more optimistic in our forecasts. In the 3rd quarter, we earned lower profit in online media and printing services segments. The periodicals segment grew as compared to the same period last year.
In the online media segment, the problem in the 3rd quarter was the unexpected revenue weakness in the Latvian and Lithuanian portals and a greater than usual allowance for doubtful receivables which occurred at these companies at the same time. Decelerating economic growth in the Baltic States and Europe coupled with warmer than normal summer significantly curbed the economic activity primarily in Latvia and Lithuania, which directly impacted the advertising revenue of our portals. Although Delfi Lithuania managed to grow it sales by 5% as compared to last year, it fell significantly short of the budget. However, the economic result of Delfi Estonia outpaced the rest of the market, and sales increased by 24% as compared to the same period last year, greatly helped by growth in videostreaming. In the 3rd quarter, the loss of Delfi Estonia decreased by half as compared to last year. In the 3rd quarter, our efforts in all Baltic States have focused on development of the portfolio of online verticals and video production which has, however, hindered the EBITDA margin growth. Sales of videos or banners to our advertising clients in video transmissions are gaining momentum and the profitability of video transmissions is in an upward trend.
Although, the sales in the periodicals segment fell short of the last year’s level, profitability has increased, due to which the profit in the periodicals segment increased by 4% as compared to last year. The main shortfall was attributable to lower sales of the book publisher Hea Lugu which was boosted by the DVD series of Estonian film classics last year. A new children’s DVD series will be launched in October. However, despite a decrease in print advertising, Eesti Ajalehed managed to maintain its sales, attributable to the sale of detective novels available together with Eesti Päevaleht and LP. Our joint ventures SL Õhtuleht, Ajakirjade Kirjastus and Express Post exceeded last year’s result.
In the periodicals segment, we are pleased with the growth in the number of digital subscriptions. Thus from the end of 2nd quarter, the number of paying digital subscribers of both Eesti Päevaleht and Eesti Ekspress has increased by ca 40% and has exceeded the level of 5 000 subscribers for each newspaper.
In the periodicals segment, an important change in also occurred staff, where Kadi Lambot who had been in charge of AS Eesti Ajalehed for 5 years left and Art Lukas assumed her position.
In the printing services segment, sales and profitability remained under pressure due to the slump which hit the market at the beginning of the year, as a result of which the printing works did not operate at full capacity and it took time to find new clients. The decrease in circulations and print volumes of our long-time clients has also had a negative effect. However, we are making investments which help to improve productivity and increase profitability.
In the 3rd quarter, AS Eesti Meedia, the co-shareholder of Ekspress Group in three joint ventures, announced that a change had occurred among its owners, due to which Ekspress Grupp has a purchase right of a co-shareholder arising from the Shareholders’ Agreement. Ekspress Grupp intends to use its purchase right and is performing the necessary activities for this. The possibility of the use of the purchase right as well as the date of its realisation will depend primarily on the willingness of AS Eesti Meedia to cooperate.
In the last quarter of the year we expect revenue to remain at last year’s level and EBITDA of the periodicals and online segments to increase as compared to last year. In respect of the Group’s EBITDA, we expect a slight decrease due to some one-off expenses of the Parent Company. According to the forecast, net profit from ordinary activities is expected to remain at the last year’s level.
KEY FINANCIAL INDICATORS AND RATIOS
|(EUR thousand)||Q3 2013||Q3 2012||Change%||Q3 2011||Q3 2010|
|For the period|
|Sales||12 977||13 278||-2%||12 969||11 817|
|Gross profit||2 500||2 678||-7%||2 879||2 394|
|EBITDA||1 361||1 495||-9%||1 564||1 277|
|Net profit/(loss) for the period||455||263||73%||118||(264)|
|EBITDA margin (%)||10.5%||11.3%||12.1%||10.8%|
|Operating margin (%)||5.5%||5.1%||5.5%||4.2%|
|Net margin (%)||3.5%||2.0%||0.9%||-2.2%|
|Earnings per share (EPS)||0.02||0.01||0.00||(0.01)|
|(EUR thousand)||9 months 2013||9 months 2012||Change%||9 months 2011||9 months 2010|
|For the period|
|Sales||41 901||43 260||-3%||41 078||36 929|
|Gross profit||9 095||9 273||-2%||8 884||7 828|
|EBITDA*||5 249||5 636||-7%||4 982||4 188|
|Operating profit*||3 299||3 101||6%||2 406||1 742|
|Interest expenses||578||1 343||-56%||1 689||1 957|
|Net profit/(loss) for the period from continuing operations*||2 490||1 413||76%||361||(722)|
|EBITDA margin* (%)||12.5%||13.0%||12.1%||11.3%|
|Operating margin* (%)||7.9%||7.2%||5.9%||4.7%|
|Net margin* (%)||5.9%||3.3%||0.9%||-2.0%|
Extraordinary gain related to acquisition of
Eesti Päevalehe AS**
|Net profit / (loss) from continuing operations for the period in the financial statements||2 490||1 413||76%||1 901||(722)|
|Net profit / (loss) for the period in the financial statements||2 490||1 413||76%||1 901||(359)|
|Net margin (%)||5.9%||3.3%||4.6%||-1.0%|
|Earnings per share (EPS)||0.08||0.05||0.06||(0.01)|
*The results exclude impairment of goodwill and trademarks, and the net extraordinary gain in relation to the acquisition of an additional ownership interest in Eesti Päevalehe AS (see below).
**In the 1st quarter of 2011, an additional 50% ownership interest was acquired in Eesti Päevalehe AS. The transaction was accounted for in two parts: firstly, as the sale of the current 50% ownership interest on which the net extraordinary gain totalled EUR 1 540 thousand and secondly, as the acquisition of the wholly-owned subsidiary.
|Balance sheet (EUR thousand)||30.09.2013||31.12.2012||Change%|
|As of the end of the period|
|Current assets||12 093||13 545||-11%|
|Non-current assets||65 911||66 754||-1%|
|Total assets||78 004||80 299||-3%|
|incl. cash and bank||2 506||3 280||-23%|
|incl. goodwill||41 360||41 093||1%|
|Current liabilities||13 061||14 967||-13%|
|Non-current liabilities||21 639||24 233||-11%|
|Total liabilities||34 700||39 200||-11%|
|incl. borrowings||25 258||28 580||-12%|
|Equity||43 304||41 099||5%|
|Financial ratios (%)||30.09.2013||31.12.2012|
|Equity ratio (%)||56%||51%|
|Debt to equity ratio (%)||58%||70%|
|Debt to capital ratio (%)||34%||38%|
|Total debt/EBITDA ratio||3.4||3.6|
|Debt service coverage ratio||1.71||1.52|
|Formulas used to calculate the financial ratios|
|EBITDA margin* (%)||EBITDA* /sales x 100|
|Operating margin* (%)||Operating profit* /sales x 100|
|Net margin* (%)||Net profit* /sales x 100|
|Net margin (%)||Net profit/sales x 100|
|Earnings per share||Net profit/average number of shares|
|Equity ratio (%)||Equity /(liabilities + equity) x 100|
|Debt to equity ratio (%)||Interest bearing liabilities /equity x 100|
|Debt to capital ratio (%)||Interest bearing liabilities –cash and cash equivalents (net debt)/(net debt+ equity) x 100|
|Total debt/EBITDA||Interest bearing borrowings/EBITDA|
|Debt service coverage ratio (DSCR)||EBITDA/loan and interest payments for the period|
|Liquidity ratio||Current assets/current liabilities|
|ROA (%)||Net profit/average assets x 100|
|ROE (%)||Net profit/average equity x 100|
OVERVIEW OF THE SEGMENTS
The Group operates in the following operating segments:
- online media
- periodicals (newspapers, magazines and books)
- printing services.
All operating areas of the Group are characterised by cyclicality and fluctuation, related to the changes in the overall economic conditions and consumer confidence. The Group’s revenue can be adversely affected by an economic slowdown or recession. It can appear in lower advertising costs in retail and housing sectors, preference of other advertising channels and changes in consumption habits of retail consumers.
The revenue from the Group’s advertising sales as well as in the printing services segment is impacted by major seasonal fluctuations. The level of both types of revenue is the highest in the 2nd and 4th quarter of each year and the lowest in the 3rd quarter. Revenue is higher in the 4th quarter because of higher consumer spending during the Christmas season, accompanied by the peak in advertising expenditure. Advertising expenditure is usually the lowest during the summer months, as well as during the first months of the year following Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Key financial data of the segments Q3 2013/2012
|online media||2 439||2 282||7%|
|periodicals||5 342||5 729||-7%|
|printing services||6 147||6 263||-2%|
|intersegment eliminations||(1 347)||(1 264)||-7%|
|TOTAL GROUP||12 977||13 278||-2%|
|printing services||1 245||1 310||-5%|
|TOTAL GROUP||1 361||1 495||-9%|
|EBITDA margin||Q3 2013||Q3 2012|
Key financial data of the segments 9 months 2013/2012
|online media||8 100||7 381||10%|
|periodicals||17 032||18 115||-6%|
|printing services||19 896||21 121||-6%|
|corporate functions||1 137||688||65%|
|intersegment eliminations||(4 264)||(4 045)||-5%|
|TOTAL GROUP||41 901||43 260||-3%|
|9 months 2013||
|online media||924||1 190||-22%|
|printing services||4 258||4 402||-3%|
|TOTAL GROUP||5 249||5 636||-7%|
|EBITDA margin||9 months 2013||9 months 2012|
The segments’ EBITDA does not include intragroup management fees, and impairment of goodwill and trademarks. Volume-based and other fees payable to advertising agencies have not been deducted from the advertising sales of segments, because the management monitors gross advertising sales. Discounts and rebates are reduced from the Group’s sales and are included in the combined line of eliminations.
News portals owned by the Group
|Delfi Estonia||www.delfi.ee||AS Eesti Ajalehed||www.ekspress.ee|
|rus.delfi.lv||AS SL Õhtuleht||www.ohtuleht.ee|
Advertising portals owned by the Group
|Delfi Lithuania||www.alio.lt||AS Eesti Ajalehed||www.ekspressjob.ee|
Online media segment
The online media segment includes Delfi operations in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine as well as the Parent Company Delfi Holding.
|Delfi Lithuania||1 053||1 004||5%|
|other Delfi companies||0||0||-|
|TOTAL||2 439||2 282||7%|
|other Delfi companies||90||87||3%|
|Delfi Estonia||2 883||2 518||14%|
|Delfi Latvia||1 696||1 639||3%|
|Delfi Lithuania||3 485||3 162||10%|
|other Delfi companies||0||5||-100%|
|TOTAL||8 100||7 381||10%|
|other Delfi companies||299||290||3%|
In the 3rd quarter, sales growth was led by Delfi Estonia. Delfi Lithuania also managed to increase its sales, but the overall weakness in the Latvian advertising market had a negative impact on Delfi Latvia. The latter was also reflected in the loss of Delfi Latvia as compared to the profit in the same amount last year. Delfi Latvia’s result was not helped either by additional income earned from the new portal calis.lv, which was acquired and integrated with Delfi in July. Delfi Lithuania struggles with collection of accounts receivable and a larger allowance for receivables has impacted its EBITDA.
· Delfi Estonia successfully continues its live broadcasts and continuously expands the range of event.
Estonian online readership 2012-2013
Delfi remains the largest online environment in Estonia. In the 3rd quarter, Postimees, the closest competitor of Delfi, started to pressurise the research company Emor to change its measurement methodology and asked to add an odd measure by the name of cooperation of postimees.ee + kava.ee to the survey and uses such a misleading measurement result to increase ficitously the number of users of postimees.ee. Delfi asked the research company already in July 2013 to describe it research methodology and rules in order not to manipulate measurement results, but it has not yet happened.
· The purchase transaction of calis.lv, targeted at parents, was completed and successfully integrated with Delfi.
· On this basis, a new news channel targeting parents was launched.
· In cooperation with Lattelecom, an interactive TV project was launched.
· English-language version of Delfi was launched in cooperation with the Baltic Times.
· Delfi continued as the key media partner of the festival “Positivus” and a unique live video was broadcast to all Baltic States.
· Russian-language Delfi launched cooperation with MTG Russian-language TV station TV5.
Latvian online readership 2012-2013
In the 3rd quarter of 2013, there were no major changes in Latvian online environments. Delfi.lv has maintained the gap with the key competitor Tvnet.lv, which after the acquisition of spoki.lv in the 1st quarter of 2013 increased the number of its users by 50 thousand on average. It is also worth highlighting that the gap between the number of users of Delfi and the local social network Draugiem has never been smaller over the last several years as it is now. Arising from this, it is possible to assume that Delfi will become the second most popular online environment in Latvia in the near future. The e-mail environment Inbox remains the most popular webpage among Latvian internet users and Delfi.lv is the most popular news environment.
· Mobile version of Delfi portal reached the number one position in the Lithuanian market.
· Delfi’s mobile versions were launched for all verticals, as well as the Russian and Polish-language Delfi sites.
Lithuanian online readership 2012-2013
Among Lithuanian internet users, Delfi Lithuania remains a clear market leader and continues to have more than a million unique users a month. From the 2nd quarter of 2012, Delfi has increased the gap with other portals and the number of users of Delfi is 200 thousand higher on a monthly basis. As compared to the 3rd quarter of last year, Delfi has increased the number of regular users by ca. 3%. The use of smaller internet portals shows a modest downward trend, which refers to the fact that users prefer to receive all necessary information and entertainment from one source.
· Continuance of the strategy launched last year to offer easier and more tabloid-like news.
· Marketing activities to improve the visibility of Delfi in the market.
Ukrainian online readership 2012-2013
The Ukrainian internet market operates in a significantly different manner than that of the Baltic States. As compared to the 2nd quarter of last year, the number of users of Delfi.ua has increased by ca.19%. The Ukrainian internet market is generally characterised by a constant change in various media publications and concepts. The market is not yet fully established, and providers and consumers alike are still developing their preferences.
The periodicals segment includes the publishers of newspapers, magazines and books. This segment also includes AS Express Post, engaged in home delivery of periodicals.
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||Change%|
|AS Eesti Ajalehed||2 484||2 495||0%|
|OÜ Hea Lugu||105||543||-81%|
|AS SL Õhtuleht*||904||879||3%|
|AS Ajakirjade Kirjastus*||952||916||4%|
|UAB Ekspress Leidyba||590||632||-7%|
|AS Express Post*||555||532||4%|
|TOTAL||5 342||5 729||-7%|
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||Change%|
|AS Eesti Ajalehed||35||56||-38%|
|OÜ Hea Lugu||(10)||103||-110%|
|AS SL Õhtuleht*||64||58||10%|
|AS Ajakirjade Kirjastus*||75||(41)||283%|
|UAB Ekspress Leidyba||(30)||(38)||21%|
|AS Express Post*||58||44||32%|
|9 months 2013||9 months 2012||Change%|
|AS Eesti Ajalehed||7 948||8 326||-5%|
|OÜ Hea Lugu||556||1 145||-51%|
|AS SL Õhtuleht*||2 769||2 754||1%|
|AS Ajakirjade Kirjastus*||2 900||3 010||-4%|
|UAB Ekspress Leidyba||1 869||1 987||-6%|
|AS Express Post*||1 747||1 712||2%|
|TOTAL||17 032||18 115||-6%|
|9 months 2013||9 months 2012||Change%|
|AS Eesti Ajalehed||185||283||-35%|
|OÜ Hea Lugu||35||115||-70%|
|AS SL Õhtuleht*||169||193||-12%|
|AS Ajakirjade Kirjastus*||97||(57)||270%|
|UAB Ekspress Leidyba||(32)||(110)||71%|
|AS Express Post*||207||173||20%|
*Proportionate share of joint ventures
The 3rd quarter of 2013 is characterised by the continued recession in the advertising market of printed newspapers. However, the advertising volumes of magazines have increased in the 3rd quarter, giving assurance about the future. LP and Eesti Päevaleht launched a new series of detective novels in August. At the beginning of October, a DVD series of children’s movies sold together with Eesti Ekspress was launched. The website and mobile application of SL Õhtuleht received a facelift in the 3rd quarter. Ajakirjade Kirjastus and SL Õhtuleht started cooperation regarding the sale of their online advertising spaces. From July, a new magazine targeting men “Kalale” (Let’s Go Fishing) was launched. The recipes of Toidutare.ee are also now available as a standalone application. From 1 July, Ajakirjade Kirjastus has moved to the new premises in Kalamaja district in Tallinn.
Strong growth in the number of subscribers and users of digital newspapers continues. The number of digital subscriptions of Eesti Päevaleht and Eesti Ekspress doubled compared to previous year and increased by 40% as compared to last quarter, reaching 5 thousand subscriptions in respect of both edition.
Estonian newspaper circulation 2012-2013
Circulations of Estonian newspapers remain stable or are slightly decreasing. The circulation of daily newspapers has been falling more than that of weekly newspapers. The Estonian market is inevitably following the global trends of consumers migrating from printed newspapers to digital channels. A sharp decrease in the circulation of Postimees is surprising, leading to a situation where Õhtuleht was the newspaper with the largest circulation in Estonia in July and August. Other newspapers have been able to maintain their circulations. In addition, the number of subscribers of digital newspapers of the Group has increased significantly in the 3rd quarter, reaching the level of 5 000 subscribers per publication. The investments made into digital newspapers over the last three years have started to yield positive results and it has already become a remarkable source of revenue in addition to printed newspapers.
Estonian newspaper readership 2012-2013
The number of readers of all major newspapers decreased in the 3 rd quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year. The exception was Äripäev, whose number of readers increased by 4%. Among daily newspapers in annual comparison the number of readers of Postimees decreased the most (-18 000 readers) and the number of readers of Õhtuleht decreased the least (-3 000 readers). As this survey measures only the number of readers of printed newspapers, the number of readers of digital newspapers of the Group is excluded. If to take into consideration the fast growth of the number of subscribers of digital newspapers of Eesti Päevaleht and Eesti Ekspress during this year, then the number of readers of those publications has increased compared to last year same period. Since there is no clearly accepted methodology and service provider to measure the readership of digital publications, and as competitors have not so far made considerable efforts to produce digital publications, the readership of all publications can not be measured only according to those graphs.
Printing services segment
All printing services of the Group are provided by AS Printall which is one of the largest printing companies in Estonia. Printall is able to print both newspapers (coldset) and magazines (heatset).
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||Change%|
|AS Printall||6 147||6 263||-2%|
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||Change%|
|AS Printall||1 245||1 310||-5%|
|9 months 2013||9 months 2012||Change%|
|AS Printall||19 896||21 121||-6%|
|9 months 2013||9 months 2012||Change%|
|AS Printall||4 258||4 402||-3%|
Due to operation of heatset machines at maximum production capacity levels during the peak season, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to grow sales. A decrease in circulations also has a negative impact, its compensation and replacement by new clients is a long-term process due to the specific nature of the printing industry. Despite the total segment revenue decreasing by 2%, the pure printing services have increased by 1.1%.
Printing services and the environment
In addition to its very strong financial position, Printall also focuses on environmentally conscious production. In 2012, Printall was granted ISO 9001 management and ISO 14001 environmental certificates.
The Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Estonia and the waste managing company AS Ragn-Sells awarded Printall with the title of the Top Recycler of the Year, because the company recycles 95% of its waste.
The Nordic Council of Ministers has awarded Printall with the environmental label “The Nordic Ecolabel”, used to acknowledge the companies in the Nordic countries that use environmentally efficient production. Printall also has FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody (COC) certificates, which the company uses to promote a green way of thinking in the printing industry. Both of those certificates indicate compliance with monitoring and product production process requirements which are issued to businesses that comply with the requirements established by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification). A business that is issued these certificates helps to support the environmentally friendly, socially fair and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
Printall cares about the environment and uses green energy. The POWERED BY GREEN certificate is a proof that the company buys electricity, 70% of which has been generated by renewable sources of energy.
Consolidated balance sheet (unaudited)
|Cash and cash equivalents||2 408||3 182|
|Trade and other receivables||7 081||7 344|
|Inventories||2 527||2 922|
|Total||12 016||13 448|
|Non-current assets held for sale||77||97|
|Total current assets||12 093||13 545|
|Trade and other receivables||243||228|
|Deferred income tax assets||137||137|
|Property, plant and equipment||13 940||14 841|
|Intangible assets||51 493||51 450|
|Total non-current assets||65 911||66 754|
|TOTAL ASSETS||78 004||80 299|
|Borrowings||3 703||4 347|
|Trade and other payables||9 353||10 498|
|Corporate income tax liability||5||122|
|Total current liabilities||13 061||14 967|
|Long-term borrowings||21 555||24 233|
|Deferred income tax liability||84||0|
|Total non-current liabilities||21 639||24 233|
|Total liabilities||34 700||39 200|
|Share capital||17 878||17 878|
|Share premium||14 277||14 277|
|Retained earnings||10 256||8 190|
|Currency translation reserve||27||14|
|TOTAL EQUITY||43 304||41 099|
|TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY||78 004||80 299|
Consolidated statement of comprehensive income (unaudited)
|Q3 2013||Q3 2012||9 months 2013||9 months 2012|
|Sales revenue||12 977||13 278||41 901||43 260|
|Cost of sales||(10 477)||(10 600)||(32 806)||(33 987)|
|Gross profit||2 500||2 678||9 095||9 273|
|Marketing expenses||(532)||(559)||(1 651)||(1 610)|
|Administrative expenses||(1 394)||(1 537)||(4 421)||(4 837)|
|Operating profit||718||676||3 299||3 101|
|Interest expense||(204)||(301)||(578)||(1 343)|
|Other finance income/costs||(47)||(75)||(69)||(105)|
|Net finance cost||(250)||(376)||(642)||(1 443)|
|Profit (loss) on shares of associates||4||(3)||0||(34)|
|Profit (loss) before income tax||472||297||2 657||1 624|
|Income tax expense||(17)||(34)||(167)||(211)|
|Net profit (loss) for the reporting period||455||263||2 490||1 413|
|Net profit (loss) for the reporting period attributable to:|
|Equity holders of the parent company||455||263||2 490||1 413|
|Other comprehensive income (expense)|
|Currency translation differences||24||15||13||2|
|Profit (loss) on change in value of a hedging instrument||0||46||0||176|
|Total other comprehensive income for the period||24||61||13||178|
|Comprehensive income (expense) for the reporting period||479||324||2 503||1 591|
|Attributable to equity holders of the parent company||479||324||2 503||1 591|
|Basic and diluted earnings per share||0.02||0.01||0.08||0.05|
Consolidated cash flow statement (unaudited)
|(EUR thousand)||9 months 2013||9 months 2012|
|Cash flows from operating activities|
|Operating profit (loss) for the reporting period||3 299||3 101|
|Depreciation, amortisation and impairment||1 930||2 534|
|Gain (loss) on sale and write-downs of property, plant and equipment||(2)||27|
|Cash flows from operating activities:|
|Trade and other receivables||240||(76)|
|Trade and other payables||(1 315)||(2 273)|
|Cash generated from operations||4 586||3 722|
|Income tax paid||(257)||(90)|
|Interest paid||(578)||(1 343)|
|Net cash generated from operating activities||3 751||2 289|
|Cash flows from investing activities|
|Purchase of other financial investments||(15)||(15)|
|Acquisition of subsidiary||(334)||0|
|Purchase of property, plant and equipment||(756)||(584)|
|Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment||19||37|
|Loan repayments received||5||182|
|Net cash generated from investing activities||(1 079)||(376)|
|Cash flows from financing activities|
|Finance lease repayments made||(10)||(390)|
|Change in use of overdraft||(745)||1 347|
|Repayments of borrowings||(2 691)||(2 857)|
|Net cash used in financing activities||(3 446)||(1 900)|
|NET (DECREASE)/INCREASE IN CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS||(774)||13|
|Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period||3 182||2 729|
|Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period||2 408||2 742|
Chairman of the Management Board
GSM: +372 5188111