Vocento closed the first quarter of 2023 with total operating income of 83.4 million euros, 9.2% more than in the same period of the previous year. 42% of the Group’s revenues come from digital media and diversification, which means an increase of 6 percentage points compared to the first quarter of 2022. This improvement shows the strengthening of these strategic areas and is in line with the target set by the company of exceeding 60% by 2026.
Revenues from advertising sales grew by 10.9% in the first quarter of the year, with 36 million euros invoiced, with Vocento brands registering a better performance than +1.7% of the market. The growth of advertising in print has been 8.6% and in digital 13.0%.
By origin, the Group maintains a balanced mix of advertising revenue between local (55%) and national (45%), with a strong increase of 14.1% in local, with a positive performance both in digital format (21.9 %) and offline (11%). Considering also the income from e-commerce accounted for within ‘other income’, the digital weight of the total reaches 50.9%, with an increase of 0.9 percentage points compared to the same period last year.
Strong rise in subscribers
Vocento’s digital subscribers grew 34.2% compared to the first quarter of last year and 7% compared to December 2022, reaching 122,000 (regional subscribers have 81,000 and ABC 41,000).
In this first quarter of 2023, EBITDA is -2.0 million euros, compared to 73,000 euros a year ago, both due to the impact of compensation that increases by -2.4 million euros compared to last year (and that must be reflected as cost savings in the rest of the year), as well as the recovery of an employee salary after the temporary reduction due to Covid negotiated for 2021 and 2022. Without these two effects, EBITDA would stand at 218,000 euro. The EBITDA of the Diversification Businesses, for its part, reached 2.4 million euros and doubles that of the first quarter of 2022 (1.2 million). The company reiterates its objective in 2023 of EBITDA growth at a constant perimeter.
The operating result (EBIT) stood at -7.8 million euros, with a decrease of -2.8 million compared to the same period last year, due -apart from the operational evolution- to the increase in amortizations resulting from an increase in capex.
During this first quarter, ordinary cash of -2.4 million euros has been generated, which reflects the higher payment of compensation (-2.4 million euros) and the ‘investment’ in Relevo (-3.6 million euros ), in addition to the higher cost of paper (-500 thousand euros). The net financial debt ex IFRS 16 is 16.6 million euros compared to 8.9 million at the end of 2022, as a result of the acquisition of the agency &Rosàs and the generation of ordinary cash.
Relevo, with a strategic plan that foresees a positive EBITDA of 4 million euros from 2027, closed the first quarter of 2023 with an EBITDA of -1.9 million euros. Vocento’s sports digital had more than 700,000 users on social networks at the end of March and is the leader in engagement on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, and in audience on Twitch. In addition, after a year in operation, it has been recognized as the best digital media and best use of European video at the Digital Media Awards Worldwide by WAN-IFRA, where it is also nominated for the best global digital media. Likewise, it is competing for four categories of the INMA awards: «best new video product«, »best use of social networks«, »best new digital product« and »best innovation in the transformation of a newsroom«.
Results by business areas
In Newspapers, operating income (including offline and online activity) amounted to 67.08 million euros, +6.3 compared to last year. By divisions, the increase is 5.8% in Regional Press, 3.5% in ABC. Regarding Supplements and Magazines, the variation is -9.4%.
In the evolution of the profitability of the Regionals, the growth in advertising (+2.0 million euros) and the effect of the improvement in other income (+1.7 million) stand out. The sum of both exceeds the increase in personnel costs impacted by severance pay, the fall in the reader margin and the lower margin of printers and distribution.
The total EBITDA stands at -1.9 million euros, while the EBITDA of Regionals is +3.4 million euros and that of ABC, which has been affected by personnel costs, the decrease in the margin printing and other costs, stands at -3.0 million. The EBITDA of Supplements and Magazines is -403,000 euros.
In Classifieds, operating income reached 6.8 million euros, representing +8.3%. This growth is positively impacted by motor. Regarding EBITDA, it increases by 413,000 euros compared to the first quarter of 2022, standing at 1,075,000 euros.
In Digital Services, operating income reached 707,000 euros, with an EBITDA of 256,000 euros, in line with the objective of an increase of 1.1 million by 2023.
This new business area for Vocento includes the activity of Local Digital Kit in the SME customer segment, which was previously reflected in ‘Classified’. Under the umbrella of the SME digitization program, this company has attracted 5,000 customers.
In Gastronomy and Agencies, operating income reached 8.7 million euros, with an increase of 31.2% compared to last year. EBITDA stands at 1.0 million euros, 66.6% more.
The Gastronomy division presents an increase in both revenue (+987,000 euros) and EBITDA (+503,000 euros), which is explained by the holding of the Madrid Fusión congress, which was a record edition with more than 21,000 visitors.
As regards Agencies and Others, their activity is concentrated in the second and fourth quarters, while the contribution of the &Rosàs agency to the results is much lower due to its incorporation in the month of March.
#Vocentos #revenues #grow #driven #digital #diversification