The revenue of AS Ekspress Grupp, the largest media group in the Baltic States increased by 22%, the number of digital subscriptions by 75% and nine months’ net profit six times as compared to last year, as the company’s interim report for the third quarter shows.
The consolidated revenue of Ekspress Grupp in the third quarter of 2021 totalled EUR 13.3 million, increasing by 22% as compared to the same period last year. The earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of Ekspress Grupp totalled EUR 2.25 million in the 3rd quarter and EUR 5.05 million in the first nine months of the year, which are 38% and 62%, respectively higher as compared to the same period in 2020. The net profit for the first 9 months of the year totalled EUR 1.82 million which is six times more than in the same period last year. The number of digital subscriptions increased by 75% by the end of September as compared to the same period last year and totalled 122 thousand subscriptions.
According to Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, the Chairman of the Management Board of Ekspress Grupp, revenue growth is attributable to the growth of the online advertising market and the number of digital subscribers in all Baltic States. “The advertising customers have adapted to the circumstances and the growth of the advertising business in all countries demonstrates that the majority of companies have been able to digitalise their businesses more; they have opened or adapted their ways of trading to e-channels and the need to advertise has recovered. The additional growth in digital subscriptions is primarily attributable to new customers and it demonstrates that we are able to address more readers who have not yet become subscribers to the Group’s products. Strong sales of online advertising and digital subscriptions in all Baltic States and continued cost reductions have helped improve profitability,“ explained Rüütsalu.
“However, the revenue of both ticket sales platforms as well as outdoor screens continues to be under pressure which is directly attributable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effect is especially evident in the Latvian market where restrictions are currently considerably stricter than in other countries,” added Rüütsalu.
At the beginning of September 2021, the Group concluded an agreement to sell Printall AS. As a result of the transaction, the Group exited the business with high CAPEX requirements that is not in line with the Group’s strategy of digital revenue growth.
Due to its strong liquidity position and additional available funds from the sale of Printall AS, the Management Board of Ekspress Grupp made a proposition to the shareholders on 13 October 2021 to distribute extraordinary dividends of 10 euro cents per share to the shareholders. The shareholders included in the share register of shareholders on 19 November 2021 will be entitled to receive dividends and dividends will be distributed on 23 November 2021.
The Supervisory Board of AS Ekspress Grupp has approved the Group’s dividends policy according to which Ekspress Grupp will distribute at least 30% of its annual profit as dividends starting from 2022.
AS Ekspress Grupp is the leading media group in the Baltic States whose key activities include web media content production, publishing of newspapers and magazines. The group also operates electronic ticket sales platform and ticket sales sites in Latvia and Estonia. Ekspress Grupp that launched its operations in 1989 employs almost 1400 people, owns leading web media portals in the Baltic States and publishes the most popular daily and weekly newspapers as well as the majority of the most popular magazines in Estonia.
Interim reports of Ekspress Grupp are available here: https://www.egrupp.ee/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/