Reported revenue of listed Estonian media holding AS Ekspress Grupp totaled €13.9 million in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2 2020), a 20 percent fall on year.
Ekspress Grupp publishes daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) and weeklies Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht.
The group's net profit for the second quarter totaled €580,000, which is higher by €230,000, or 67 percent, than in the same period of 2019, Ekspress Group told the stock exchange.
The group's performance in the second quarter was significantly affected by the crisis months related to the spread of the coronavirus where the group's advertising revenue decreased by ca 19 percent in Estonia and Latvia as compared to last year.
The state of emergency related to COVID-19 has primarily impacted the operations of the Latvian ticket sales platform and the advertising sales of digital outdoor screens both in Estonia and Latvia. The revenue in these areas was at a minimum level in the second quarter.
"The group responded quickly to the crisis. We reduced the cost base and applied for various public measures in order to alleviate the situation and prevent employee layoffs," Ekspress Group management board chair Mari-Liis Ruutsalu said.
The consolidated revenue for the first six months of 2020 totaled €29.6 million, 10 percent less compared with the first six months of 2019. The loss for the first six months of the year totaled €160,000, which is €100,000 less compared with last year.
By the end of Q2 2020, digital revenue made up 68 percent of the group's media segment revenue and 46 percent of the group's total revenue. The figures for the first six months of 2019 were 66 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Despite the crisis months, the group managed to improve its liquidity. By the end of the first half of 2020, the group's cash totaled €6.3 million, compared with €1.5 million at the end of the same period in 2019.
"It is important for us to maintain our liquidity position as the future scope of the crisis related to the coronavirus is still unknown," Ruutsalu said.
AS Ekspress Grupp is a media group with key activities including web media content production, publishing of newspapers and magazines and provision of printing services in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Editor: Roberta Vaino