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April

19

2019

GEDI: economic and financial results as of 31 March 2019

TURNOVER AT € 145.6M

EBITDA AT € 8.4M

NET PROFIT AT € 2.0M

NET DEBT AT € 124.7M (net of IFRS 16)
(includes expenses for restructuring plans and annual partnership contract)


Rome, 19 April 2019 – 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 31 March 2019 as presented by Chief Executive Officer Laura Cioli.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS REPORT AT 31 MARCH 2019


MARKET PERFORMANCE

In the first two months of 2019, advertising investments decreased by 3.6% compared to the corresponding period in the previous year (Nielsen Media Research figures). 

Amongst the main formats, only online (excluding Search and Social Networks) saw a positive trend, with growth of 2.6%. Revenue for radio was basically consistent with figures for the corresponding period last year (+0.1%), while TV revenue was down 3.6%. Printed media was the format that suffered most, recording a further drop of 11.3%, with newspapers reporting -13.6% (-15.3% revenue for national papers and -12.5% for local papers) and magazines -6.9%. 

According to ADS (Accertamento Diffusione Stampa) data, in the first two months of 2019, newspaper subscriptions and sales at newsstands fell by 7.1% (-5.4% for national newspapers and -8.5% for local newspapers). Including digital copies, overall circulation dropped by around -5.9%.


GEDI GROUP OPERATING PERFORMANCE FOR THE 1ST QUARTER OF 2019

Consolidated revenues, totalling € 145.6m, fell by 6.5% compared to the first quarter of 2018. Revenue from all digital activities accounted for 12.4% of consolidated revenue (17.5% for the Repubblica brand), and the digital products of the various Group publications at the end of 2019 reached 119,000 subscribers.

Circulation revenues, amounting to € 67.1m, decreased by 6.5% when compared with the previous financial year, in a market which, as indicated above, reports a decrease of 7.1% in the sales of daily newspapers at newsstands and via subscription. 

Advertising revenue was down by 8.0% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

The development of revenue from the various formats of the Group reflects the trends of the relative markets. Online advertising grew 3.2%, radio remained basically in line with figures for the corresponding period of 2018 (-2.2%), while printed media saw a significant decrease of -12.7%.

Costs, including depreciation, are 5.5% lower compared to the first quarter of 2018. Personnel costs (-4.8%) and other costs (-6.1%) have decreased. However, these reductions still do not significantly reflect the effects of newsroom’s organization restructuring of La Repubblica (which went operational during March) and the closure of two printing facilities (from April).

Consolidated gross operating profit was € 8.4m (€ 4.8m net of IFRS 16 effects) compared to € 11.4m in the first quarter of 2018. 

Consolidated operating profit was € 0.5m (€ 0.3m prior to application of IFRS 16) compared to € 6.6m in the first quarter of 2018.

Consolidated net profit was € 2.0m (€ 2.3m excluding the effects of IFRS 16) against € 3.0m profit in the first quarter of 2018. 

Net debt at 31 March 2019, prior to application of new accounting standard IFRS 16, totalled € 124.7m, up compared to the € 103.2m at the end of 2018, due to the effect of the first round of payments for restructuring plans in progress, as well as the trend in working capital, affected by expenses of € 8.4m for an annual partnership contract. Application of IFRS 16 has led to recording, at 31 March 2019, of payables for leasing and rights of use of € 62.8m, and therefore net debt after IFRS 16 application totals € 187.5m. 

The Group’s workforce, including fixed-term employees, at the end of March 2019, numbered 2,295 employees, down 64 compared to the 31 December 2018. The average workforce for the period was 4.5% lower than in the first quarter of the previous year.

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The Company’s Director of Administration and Accounts, Mr Gabriele Acquistapace, the director 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” (Consolidated Law on Finance) that the figures contained in this press release correspond to the results documented in the Company’s accounts and general ledger.
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SUBSEQUENT EVENTS AND OUTLOOK

On 8 April 2019, the Company entirely repaid the expiring convertible bond loan with a value of € 100m, partially via a revolving credit line established in April 2018.

Based on the trends already recorded in the first quarter, there are no significant changes in the market expected in 2019 other than those that have marked the sector for a number of years now. To counter these trends, the Group has and will continue to engage in developing its products, to implement the rationalization measures to preserve profitability, to achieve further advantages deriving from the merger with the ITEDI Group and to strengthen its leadership in digital activities. Amongst the activities with effects that will be visible in coming months: the relaunch of the La Repubblica newspaper and the effects of the newsroom’s organization restructuring, the restructuring following closure of a further two printing facilities, reorganisation of GEDI News Network and consequent opportunities for further increased efficiency and synergy, and the development of technological platforms with particular reference to CRM and editorial systems.

19 April 2019 | 12:03 CEST

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