In its third quarter interim report to the stock exchange, AS Ekspress Grupp grew sales revenue and operational profit (EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) year-over-year, but net profit fell due to higher interest payments.
Ekspress Group's nine-month revenues increased by 15 percent year-on-year to 51.8 million euros. Digital revenues grew 24 percent year-on-year and accounted for 83 percent of the group's total revenues at the end of September.
Group earnings (EBITDA) increased by 18 percent year-on-year to € 6 million. In the third quarter, sales revenue increased by 9 percent to €16.5 million and EBITDA earnings increased by 8 percent to €2.4 million.
Net income for the first nine months totaled €1.2 million, a decrease of 28 percent compared to the same period last year, excluding one-time charges. Net income for the third quarter was €0.9 million. Including non-recurring items, the Group's net profit for the first nine months was €0.8 million.
Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, CEO of Ekspress Group, said that digital advertising revenues increased in both Estonia and Lithuania, but decreased slightly in Latvia.
"The Group's media companies' digital subscription revenues and the number of people with digital subscriptions grew strongly during the year in all three countries. The strong growth was driven by ticketing platform revenues and outdoor advertising revenues," Rüütsalu said.
Rüütsalu said that profitability was mainly driven by successful sales of online advertising and digital subscriptions in Estonia and Lithuania, as well as growth in ticketing platforms and digital outdoor screens. The net profit was mainly affected by higher interest rates due to the increase in Euribor, but also by one-off costs related to the closure of Express Post's express delivery service and the loss-making operations in the first half of the year (totaling €-0.6 million).
The Ekspress Group added almost 42,000 digital subscribers in the Baltic countries during the year, which is 30 percent more than at the end of September last year. The total number of digital subscriptions reached 180,000 at the end of the quarter.
Ekspress Group started its operations in 1989 and employs nearly 1,100 people.
Editor: Kristina Kersa