Private media concern Ekspress Grupp, which publishes daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), among other titles, has reported a net profit of €0.2 million for the first half of 2023, a fall of 71 percent on year.
The company says the main cause of this drop relates to wrapping up an unprofitable home delivery service of its print publications.
Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, board chair at Ekspress Group, said: "The fall in net profit has been mainly affected by the one-off closing-down costs relating to AS Express Post, plus a rising unprofitability seen in the home delivery business sector in the first half of the year, coming to a total amount of €0.6 million."
AS Ekspress Grupp's six-month sales revenue rose by 18 percent year-on-year to €35.3 million.
Together with one-off extraordinary expenses, the group posted losses of €100,000 as a result of the first half of the year's results.
Rüütsalu added that the level of net profit has also been affected by interest rates, whose payments are up €0.3 million due to the rise in the Euro Interbank Offered Rate. (Euribor) rate, and a rise in depreciation expenses resulting from the group's investments.
Express Post's home delivery service has been discontinued, while the ensuing one-time liquidation costs and unprofitable operations will no longer be reflected in the next quarters of the group's reports, Rüütsalu said.
Ekspress Grupp's profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 25 percent in the first half of 2023, to €3.6 million.
At the end of June, the share of digital revenues made up 82 percent of Ekspress Grupp's total turnover.
Sales revenue for the Q2 2023 rose by 13 percent, to €18.5 million.
In the first half of the year, the number of Ekspress Grupp's digital orders rose by a total of 24 percent on year across all three Baltic states, to 175,400 orders as at the end of June.
As of June 30, the group had €6.1 million in financial resources, while it repurchased shares for a total of €1 million, and paid dividends to shareholders to the tune of €1.5 million, in the first half of the year.
During the first half of the year, the group has bought back shares for a total of one million euros and paid dividends to shareholders to the tune of €1.5 million.
AS Ekspress Grupp's activities include online media content production and newspaper, magazine and book publishing.
In addition to EPL, its titles include investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress, agricultural weekly Maaleht, and news portal Delfi.
The group also manages e-ticket sales platform and ticket sales points, and offers outdoor screening services in Estonia and Latvia.
Founded in 1989, the group employs nearly 1,600 staff.
Ekspress Grupp's majority owner is Hans H. Luik
The other major private media concern in Estonia is the Postimees Grupp.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mirjam Mäekivi