Ekspress Grupp boosts 2019 fiscal year revenue, earnings

Daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) is one of several publications in Ekspress Group's portfolio.
Daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) is one of several publications in Ekspress Group's portfolio. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

In 2019, listed Estonian media and entertainment holding Ekspress Grupp saw its revenue grow 9 percent to €75.3 million, while net profit surged from €30,000 to €1.4 million, according to the group's internal accounting.

According to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), revenue grew 11.5 percent to €67.5 million and net profit jumped from €25,000 to €1.4 million, Ekspress Grupp told the Tallinn Stock Exchange (TSE) on Friday.

In the final quarter of 2019, the group's consolidated sales revenue moved up 11.3 percent to €21.7 million, and net profit totaled €1.7 million.

In accordance with IFRS, revenue increased 13.1 percent to €19.7 million and net profit totaled €1.6 million.

Ekspress Grupp's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) totaled €3.3 million in the fourth quarter and €7.2 million in 2019. Its fourth quarter EBITDA was the biggest the group has seen in five years.

"Ekspress Grupp continues to focus on organic growth to increase our digital footprint and at the same time constantly exploring various options for potential acquisitions in order to increase the share of the group's digital revenues and develop its diversified digital business," CEO Mari-Liis Rüütsalu said.

"In 2019, the number of digital subscriptions of Ekspress Grupp periodicals increased significantly," Rüütsalu highlighted. "A greater number of readers of periodicals are willing to pay for digital web content. Digital subscriptions in Estonia and Latvia increased the most. In Lithuania, Ekspress Grupp began providing paid content in the third quarter, and its results are likewise encouraging. The company will continue making efforts in upcoming years to increase digital subscriptions in all three Baltic states."

The management has proposed not distributing any dividends from retained profits in order to continue investing in the growth of the group's digital business.

Ekspress Grupp consistently continues to implement its long-term growth and investment strategy in digital revenues in order to transition from print to digital. As a result of the activities implemented over the last five years, the group is less dependent on printing services, the CEO added.

To explain the difference between the indicators from the group's internal accounting and reporting in accordance with IFRS, Ekspress Grupp said that where in its consolidated financial reports, 50 percent joint ventures are recognized under the equity method in compliance with IFRS, in its monthly reports, the management monitors the group's performance on the basis of proportional consolidation of joint ventures, and the loan contract and note terms and conditions also determine the calculation of some covenants by proportional consolidation.

For the purpose of clarity, the management report shows two sets of indicators: one where joint ventures are consolidated line-by-line, and the other where joint ventures are recognized under the equity method and their net result is presented as financial income in one line.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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