“With a good Q4 2016 Schibsted concluded a year with steady progress according to our strategic plan. We have continued to strengthen our position as a global leader in online classifieds and to build world class digital media houses based on strong ecosystems in Scandinavia,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“In Online Classifieds, our strongest growth engine Leboncoin.fr has continued to grow rapidly. Leboncoin.fr has during 2016 built a significant revenue base in real estate, and initiated in Q4 monetization of the attractive recruitment vertical. The results so far are promising. In the relatively mature Scandinavian markets, the positive trends continued, whereas our operations in Spain have during 2016 struggled to maintain the high growth rates from 2015,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Within our Other Developed markets, Italy, Austria and Ireland, have seen steady high growth rates during 2016. It is reassuring to conclude that they in total have established themselves with positive EBITDA for the year as a whole,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Our progress in Emerging markets continues, and it is good to see that the revenue growth in Brazil accelerates. Our native market place app Shpock continues to set new records in terms of downloads and user engagement,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“The publishing activities in our media houses produced improved EBITDA margins in 2016 as a whole and in Q4. The decline in print advertising revenues is still a great challenge. However, the innovative approach to our digital news products result in increasing revenues from subscriptions,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“I would like to highlight the progress of our operations in Schibsted Growth. Over long time, this unit has grown steadily with increasing EBITDA margin. During 2016, the effectiveness of the Lendo business model has become particularly visible,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“Schibsted’s build-up of product and technology capabilities is essential in order to build the foundation for profitable growth and value creation going forward. Improved online classifieds components and platforms, tools to streamline the editorial operations and our data driven advertising platform are essential elements,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
Highlights of Q4 2016
- EBITDA ex. Investment phase of NOK 682 million; a growth of 9 percent.
- Online classifieds pro forma revenue growth of 16 percent, adjusted for currency fluctuations. Total Online classifieds EBITDA ex. Investment phase grew 17 percent to NOK 618 million
- Continued positive high growth for Developed phase Online Classifieds
- 23 percent revenue growth and increased margins in France. Monetization of the jobs vertical started in Q4 2016, and progresses as planned
- Sustained growth in Norway
- 9 percent revenue growth in Spain. Good trend in jobs and cars, whereas real estate is sluggish, and display advertising continues to grow slowly
- 22 percent revenue growth and positive EBITDA in Other Developed phase operations, driven by continued good development in Italy, Austria and Ireland
- Online Classifieds Investment phase continues positive trend
- Further revenue growth acceleration to 79 percent
- OLX Brazil progressing well with rapid revenue growth and reduced expenses.
- Reduced EBITDA losses in emerging markets
- Significant investments and rapid growth in UK and Germany for native app
Shpock, reaching a total of 35 million app downloads
- Tight cost control leads to improved EBITDA margins in publishing activities, even if advertising markets are challenging
- Strong inflow of digital subscribers
- Continued high growth rate in the Schibsted Growth portfolio in Sweden. Personal finance portal Lendo.se grew revenues 53 percent and reached an EBITDA margin of 53 percent in Q4 16
- The build-up of product and technology competence continues. Focus on developing components for online classifieds verticals, next generation generalist platform, advertising solutions and increased efficiency for newsrooms
- Acquisition of MB Diffusion, the leading online classifieds market place for agricultural and construction equipment in France closed in Q4. Acquisition of Habitaclia, a rapid growing regional real estate portal in Spain acquired in Q1 2017
- Dividend proposed at NOK 1.75 per share for 2016
Schibsted invites to an analyst and press conference at Apotekergata 10, Oslo, 8 February 2017 at 09:00 CET. The presentation will be held in English and transmitted live as a video webcast on www.schibsted.com/ir. CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal and EVP CFO Trond Berger will present at the analyst and press conference.
A conference call with Q&A linked to the Q4 2016 numbers will take place 8 February 2017 at 14:00 CET. Please dial in at the following numbers:
- Norway: 800 51084
- UK: 0800 358 6377
- USA: 800-347-6311
- International: +44 (0)330 336 9412
Conference ID is 5190357
- Trond Berger, CFO. Tel: +47 916 86 695
- Jo Christian Steigedal, Head of IR. Tel: +47 415 08 733