Schibsted ASA (SCH) - Interim Financial Statement Q4 2012

Today, Schibsted Media Group released its Q4 2012 report, which shows operating revenues of NOK 3.8 billion. This was underlying and increase of 1 percent. The Online classifieds operations increased their revenues by 14 percent underlying. The revenues of the media houses in Norway and Sweden declined by underlying 2 and 4 percent, respectively.

- Q4 was another solid quarter for Schibsted Media Group. Our Online classifieds operations continue to perform well, capturing market shares and expanding products and service offerings. The Media houses are in the middle of a structural transition from print to online platforms. Our ambition is to create world class digital media houses, although the encouraging revenue increases in the online operations are not yet sufficient to compensate fully for the revenue decline in the print part of the business, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.

- Finn.no and our French site Leboncoin.fr were the main growth drivers in the Online classifieds operations. Blocket.se also performed well in a somewhat softer Swedish market. Over the past few years we have also created profitable number one positions in Italy, Austria and Malaysia. Our sites have strengthened their market leadership in 2012, lending further confidence in the business model and our return on investment over time. We are continuing to invest in our successful online classifieds concepts, and despite tough competition we see positive development also in early stage operations such as Bomnegócio.com in Brazil. We will concentrate on our core markets and expansion into selected new geographies. We aim for the number one positions in the markets where we are present, Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.

- In the Media Houses we are meeting the challenges in print media with cost reduction programs, and ongoing efficiency measures that are progressing as planned. At the same time we are allocating more resources to our digital activities, and here the results are encouraging. The declining trend in print advertising is expected to continue. Hence continued online growth and innovation will be crucial to secure the future with a fundament of high quality editorial products combined with healthy financial results, CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.

Highlights of Q4 2012
(Figures in brackets refer to the corresponding period in 2011. Underlying figures are adjusted for currency effects and acquisitions and divestments.)

  • 1 percent underlying growth in Group operating revenues. Online classifieds grew 14 percent underlying; 19 percent growth excluding the Spanish online classifieds operations.
  • Group EBITDA of NOK 497 million (549 million), with increased earnings in Online classifieds but decline in Media houses 
  • Online classified report 28 percent EBITDA margin, and 42 percent EBITDA margin excluding Investment phase
    • Solid performance in the key established  operations in Norway, France, and Sweden
    • Spanish operations hurt by weak economy and job market
    • Italy, Austria and Ireland reinforce market leadership while continuing to show revenue and profit growth
    • Strong traffic development and improved market positions in new markets, including Brazil
  • Media houses report 11 percent EBITDA margin in Norway and 13 percent in Sweden
    • Continued decline in Print advertising as the migration from print to online continues
    • Good Online growth in both Norway and Sweden, particularly from mobile activities
    • Comprehensive transition and cost reduction program ongoing and on track
  • Impairment loss of NOK 350 million, mainly in Spain, and NOK 179 million in Metro Sweden reflect weak economic environment and structural changes
  • Restructuring charges of NOK 257 million related to the transition program in the Media houses
  • Dividend payment of NOK 3.50 per share (unchanged) proposed for 2012; a balanced proposal in a period of significant online growth investments
Q4 Q4     Full year
2011 2012  (MNOK) 2012 2011
3,744 3,811 Operating revenues     14,763     14,378
549 497 Gross operating profit (EBITDA) 2,028 2,185
15 % 13 % EBITDA margin 14 % 15 %
702 609 Gross operating profit (EBITDA) ex. Investment phase       2,558       2,597
19 % 16 % EBITDA margin ex. Investment phase 17 % 18 %
        152        (415) Profit (loss) before taxes         683       1 331
2.14 2.42 Adjusted Earnings per share (EPS)        8.41        8.76

Schibsted invites to an analyst and press conference at Apotekergaten 10, Oslo, 13 February 2013 at 09.00 CET. The presentation will be transmitted live as a webcast on www.schibsted.com/ir.

A conference call with Q&A linked to the Q4 2012 results will take place 13 February 2013 at 14:00 CET. Please dial in at the following numbers:

International: +44(0)20 3450 9987
From Norway: 800 56054
Conference code: 4552781

Contact person:
Trond Berger, CFO. Tel: +47 916 86 695

Oslo, 13 February 2013
SCHIBSTED ASA

Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations


This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.



This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: Schibsted via Thomson Reuters ONE

HUG#1677600
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