Amsterdam,
09
March
2016
|
07:30
Europe/Amsterdam

TMG annual results and results fourth quarter 2015

Digital showed solid growth, print revenues in line with expectations, declines in revenues from print and radio largely offset by cost savings

• Revenues € 482.3 million, EBITDA in 2015 € 41.6 million, excluding restructuring costs (2014: € 46.3 million).
• Rapid adjustment of the brand portfolio to all the distribution channels required by consumers, with De Telegraaf leading the news media: 1 billion page views per month, 71% via mobile.
• Restructuring of printing activities on track.
• Slight improvement of liquidity, despite restructuring charges of more than € 20 million and investments of € 10 million.
• Proposed dividend: € 0.16 per share.

The rapid transition of TMG to a 24/7 media company continued unabated in 2015, with increasing digitalisation being reflected in the development of revenues and results. Revenues from print declined slightly. Digital revenues (corrected for the partial discontinuation of Dichtbij.nl), on the other hand, increased, along with income from other sources, such as colouring books for adults (first introduced by Keesing Media Group). The total revenues decreased by € 35.4 million compared to 2014. Thanks to significant cost savings due to rapidly implemented reorganisations, together with a focus on efficiency, cash flows and new income flows, the decline in revenue, excluding restructuring charges, was limited. EBITDA amounted to € 41.6 million, compared to € 46.3 million in 2014. After restructuring charges, EBITDA was € 14.4 million. The net result improved, compared to 2014, amounting to a loss of € 23.6 million (2014: loss of € 38.1 million), due to restructuring costs and impairments on printing presses and buildings.

TMG annual report 2015
TMG Annual Report 2015

CEO of Telegraaf Media Groep, Geert-Jan van der Snoek:
“For a media company like ours, there is always something rather unnatural about looking back. Here we are, already deep in 2016, looking back on 2015. It was a year in which, as announced, we radically restructured our organisation. The results that we present for 2015 reflect this, and these are in line with our expectations. We started this transition so that, both now and especially in the future, we can do even better what we do best: creating relevant content 24/7 and distributing it with the speed, intensity, volume and dynamics that people expect from TMG:

  • for advertisers and content partners, by working together to develop new formulas.
  • for consumers, by making better, more surprising and more accessible 24/7 relevant content.
  • for employees, by creating an inspiring work environment with room for entrepreneurship and new ideas.
  • for society, by carefully monitoring our production processes and editorial formulas, and by being aware of our societal impact, both in thought and in actions.
  • for shareholders, by rationalising our activities and by innovating, in order to generate sustainable returns.

We see sustainability as an integral part of our business strategy. As a media company, we can – and will – play a leading role here. In 2015, we laid the foundations on which we will build further as of 2016.”

 

Financial developments in 2015

 

Revenues from subscriptions and single-copy sales declined by € 4.4 million (down 1.6%) to € 269.3 million. Last year, the decline was still as high as 2.3%.

Advertising revenues from print and radio activities amounted to € 116.3 million, a decline of 17.0% (2014: a decline of 14.7%). The shift of media spend from print to digital is clearly visible here. As part of the rationalisation process, one-third of the 17% decline is attributable to the discontinuation of Sp!ts and the Sunday newspapers of Holland Media Combinatie. The revenues from radio commercials declined by 17.1%, due especially to a decline in the listening market share of Radio Veronica in 2014. In 2015, this decline stabilised, and in the last few months of 2015, the listening market share was going up again.

Digital B2B revenues, mainly consisting of online advertising revenues, decreased during the past year by 5.2% to € 33.0 million. This decrease is fully attributable to the decline in revenues at Dichtbij.nl by € 4.1 million. Excluding Dichtbij.nl, the digital B2B revenues would have increased by € 2.3 million (8.9%). This increase is mainly due to higher video revenues at Dumpert and higher advertising revenues at Telegraaf.nl.

Digital consumer revenues, mainly consisting of online subscription revenues, increased by 18.5%, thanks to growth in the number of digital and combined subscriptions.

Excluding restructuring charges, operating expenses decreased by € 30.8 million, thus offsetting a large part of the decline in revenues. The costs of raw and auxiliary materials and transport and distribution declined by € 16.1 million, due to lower newspaper circulations, lower prices of raw materials and process optimisations implemented during the year. Personnel costs, excluding restructuring charges, decreased by € 7.5 million, mainly driven by a decrease in the number of FTEs as a result of the phased strategic reorganisation initiated in recent years and the associated reduction in personnel.

Accelerated growth – De Telegraaf: more than 1 billion page views per month
TMG Landelijke Media saw the number of digital readers and digital subscriptions increase significantly in 2015. The monthly number of page views of De Telegraaf exceeded the one billion mark, with more video views (20 million per month) and greater mobile reach. De Telegraaf continues to work on expanding its total reach through all possible distribution channels. As part of this drive, some 14,000 video productions were made, resulting in approximately 270 million views.

Putting the consumer first in 2015
To be able to provide consumers, quickly and efficiently, with high-quality and appealing content, in 2015 TMG looked outwards, focusing on external cooperation, content, and sales.

  • New collaborative links were created in order to expand our content offering, particularly in the fields of video and OTT, for example with Ubideo, a live-stream app, which enables users from all over the world to stream images. In this way, Metro enriches its content for its consumers. The first tangible result was the live stream report from the Amsterdam Dance Event. In five days, 100,000 views were registered, with an average viewing time of nine minutes. A collaboration was also announced with Apple and IBM. A new editorial system was installed, which speeds up sharing of content, particularly online. The editorial teams of De Telegraaf, Metro and the regional dailies are already working with the new system.
  • Under the leadership of the new editorial team, De Telegraaf daily was restyled at the end of October. The newspaper now has a clearer and fresher layout. The internal structure has been updated, and in terms of content the daily now provides more background to the news. The restyling was presented at the 40,000th edition of De Telegraaf, along with a campaign to attract more subscribers. In total, several thousand trial and regular subscriptions were taken out.
  • A new digital environment for VROUW was prepared in 2015. With five central themes (health, education, psychology & relationships, food, and lifestyle), visitors get in-depth information about issues that concern women. Online video is given a prominent role. The soft launch of the new VROUW.nl website took place in December 2015, while the consumer launch took place in January 2016.
  • TMG Landelijke Media is a leader in connecting with new content platforms and social networks. De Telegraaf and Metro, for example, are the first news brands on Facebook Instant Articles. De Telegraaf is the first Dutch news brand on Apple Watch.

 

Reorganisations
The rapid changes in the market forced TMG to make a number of major adjustments in its organisation, based on its new 24/7 strategy, which was established in 2015. During the year, the organisational structure was fine-tuned and made more efficient. These reorganisations (partly completed in 2015 and to be fully completed in the first six months of 2016) will ultimately result in the loss of about 450 jobs, while also creating room for some new competencies, thanks to new activities based on the 24/7 strategy.

 

Fourth quarter 2015

Financial developments in Q4 2015

In the fourth quarter, revenues declined by € 9.4 million (a decline of 6.8%) compared to the same period last year. This decline is mainly due to a decline in advertising revenues from print and radio of € 7.3 million (a decline of 17.2%). This decline is in line with previous quarters. Revenues from subscriptions and single-copy sales increased by € 0.8 million (1.2%), thanks to higher sales at Keesing Media Group.

Excluding restructuring charges, EBITDA amounted to € 15.7 million (2014: € 14.1 million), an increase of € 1.6 million.

Proposed dividend and General Meeting of Shareholders
In 2014, regarding the dividend policy, it was determined that the payment of the dividend was made dependent on the normalised operating cash flow, i.e., normalised EBITDA of total operations (continued operations and discontinued operation in the year) subject to the deduction of the annual licence fees owed by Sky Radio Group, taxes, interest and replacement investments. The basic principle is a payout of 30%–40% of this net operating cash flow. On this basis, the Stichting Beheer van Prioriteitsaandelen TMG proposes a dividend of € 0.16 per share. No dividend was paid over the year 2014.

This proposal will be discussed at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, which will take place on 21 April 2016, at 2 pm, at Basisweg 30 in Amsterdam. The agenda and the relevant documents will be made available on TMG’s (new) website as of today under ‘Shareholder Meetings’.

 

TMG in 2016
In 2016, TMG will further accelerate in a changing market, to be able to provide today’s consumers with relevant content 24/7 in the fields of news, sports and entertainment. To this end, TMG will enter new areas, such as TV, Over The Top (OTT) and Live. Our key brands will be continuously strengthened further to increase their reach. Substantial investments will be made in digital, for example by developing applications and improving the websites. This development will be carried out both independently and with partners. On 15 January 2016, TMG announced a proposed strategic partnership with Talpa in the areas of radio, TV and OTT. This collaboration will further strengthen the positions of TMG and Talpa in these areas.

Since 1 January 2016, our non-title-related online activities have been grouped into a new business unit: TMG Digital BV. By investing in this new business unit and by working together with a focus on customers and relevant themes, we can improve the combined results of those activities. In the first quarter of 2016, the reorganisation of our printing plants, TMG Landelijke Media and Dichtbij.nl will be concluded. As a result, the number of FTEs will diminish noticeably in 2016.

Annual report TMG 2016

Annexes:

  1. Consolidated statement of profit and loss 2015
  2. Consolidated statement of comprehensive income 2015
  3. Consolidated statement of the financial position as at 31 December 2015
  4. Consolidated statement of cash flows 2015

The summarised financial statements presented in the annexes to this press release are based on the financial statements as at 31 December 2015, which are to be released on 9 March 2016. In accordance with Section 2:395 of the Dutch Civil Code, we hereby declare that our auditor, Deloitte Accountants B.V., has issued an independent auditor’s report with respect to those financial statements. For a better understanding of the financial position and results of Telegraaf Media Groep N.V. and the scope of the audit by Deloitte Accountants B.V., this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements to which it refers and the related independent auditor’s report issued on 8 March 2016. These documents are to be published in digital form on 9 March 2016 and will be available via www.tmg.nl. The financial statements are still to be adopted by the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, which will be held on Thursday 21 April 2016 in Amsterdam.

The English version of the Annual Report is a translation of the Dutch report, which is the official version. In the event of any discrepancies, the Dutch version shall prevail.