“Q4 2015 was a good quarter for Schibsted. The online classifieds operations revenues and operating profit grew well. I am particularly satisfied with the performance in our French and Spanish operations,” CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“During 2015 we have seen great value creation through in-market consolidation of online classifieds. Schibsted’s ambition is to continue to pursue such opportunities in the markets we operate. In Q4, we were very happy to sign the agreements to acquire the leading Swedish real estate marketplace Hemnet. We believe this type of consolidation will contribute to create better marketplaces for buyers and sellers,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“The development in our media houses in Norway and Sweden is affected by big changes in consumer and advertising markets. Despite these changes, the media houses continue to produce great journalistic achievements. Margin levels were stable compared to Q4 2014, but continued cost cutting is necessary going forward,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
“We have gradually increased our efforts within digital product and technology development during 2015 – and we plan to do even more in 2016. During Q4 2015 we announced a new organizational model for Schibsted. Moving the responsibility and resources for product and technology development to global units will enable us to deliver great products to our customers quicker and more efficiently. We believe this will increase our competitive strength considerably going forward,” Rolv Erik Ryssdal says.
In Schibsted’s new organizational structure, the technology function has been strengthened. Rian Liebenberg, EVP Chief Technology Officer says:
“We have an ambitious roadmap for further launches during 2016, and plan to launch targeted advertising solutions in our most important markets. This will enable us to capture revenues in the fast growing online ad market. The global platforms we are developing for media houses, market places and advertising will ensure that Schibsted can offer top class digital services to consumers and advertisers going forward.”
Highlights of Q4 2015
(Figures in brackets refer to corresponding quarter in 2014.)
- EBITDA ex. Investment phase of NOK 617 million, a growth of 10 percent. Online classifieds EBITDA ex. Investment phase grew 21 percent to NOK 520 million.
- Broad-based revenue growth in Online Classifieds in Q4. France and Spain both grew 20 percent.
- Agreement to acquire 80 percent of Hemnet signed. The acquisition is subject to clearance by Swedish competition authorities (KKV).
- Continued strong growth in key performance indicators in most Investment phase markets.
- 83 percent growth in number of visits per month in the Investment phase portfolio in Q4.
- Strong growth in active users and new approved ads for mobile-only classifieds app Shpock in UK, Germany and Austria.
- Leboncoin with successful push in the real estate market. More than 70 percent of former customers of the old cooperative real estate package signed direct contract with Leboncoin by December 2015.
- Investments in product and technology, building a new foundation for growth.
- Self-service advertising solution launched in France.
- Geotargeting ads on mobile in Scandinavia.
- New mobile apps introduced in major European markets.
- New media platform being rolled out.
- Mixed development in Media houses.
- Media House margins stable in Q4 as a result of cost focus.
- Total circulation revenues for subscription newspapers in Norway were flat in Q4, helped by online growth.
- Print advertising continued to decline. Operating expenses in Schibsted Norge Media House declined 11 percent in Q4.
- Schibsted Growth revenues top SEK 1 billion for 2015, steady growth and profit improvement for personal finance and price comparison services.
- Dividend proposed at NOK 1.75 per share for 2015.
Schibsted invites to an analyst and press conference at Apotekergaten 10, Oslo, 19 February 2016 at 09:00 CET. The presentation will be held in English and transmitted live as a video webcast on www.schibsted.com/ir.
A conference call with Q&A linked to the Q4 2015 numbers will take place 19 February 2016 at 14:00 CET. Please dial in at the following numbers:
- Norway: 800 56 053
- UK: 0800 279 4841
- USA: 1877 280 2296
- International: +44(0)20 3427 1915
Conference ID is 2485661
- Trond Berger, CFO. Tel: +47 916 86 695
- Jo Christian Steigedal, Head of IR. Tel: +47 415 08 733