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Vocento Social

Vocento reports 37 million euros of EBITDA excluding
non-recurring items in 2009, up 26% from the previous year

  • It closed the year with advertising outperforming the market in the press and on the Internet.
  • In 2009, ABC was the only national daily to increase circulation and to grow on the Internet.
  • Operating efficiency has improved, with expenses down 13.5% thanks to measures to control and optimise costs.
  • The group maintains a solid net financial position, with cash of 125 million euros.


Madrid. 25 February 2010 - Leadership on the written press and on the Internet, an outperformance of advertising sales, and the increasing value of the audiovisual business, have enabled Vocento to end 2009 with net profit of 9.1 million euros and revenues of 751 million euros, in spite of the recession and the general fall in advertising revenues in the sector.

Vocento ended the year with EBITDA of 37 million euros, excluding non-recurring expenses, which represents an increase of 26% from last year, as a result of efforts in cost control and cost optimisation, which have enabled the company to absorb a large part of the advertising decline. This policy has resulted in a 13.5% reduction in recurring operating expenses.

In an economic environment which has had a negative impact on companies in the media sector, Vocento stands out from its competitors because of its solid financial position, with cash of over 125 million euros and net financial debt of 75 million euros.

The strength and leadership of the Vocento brands, combined with measures to reduce the cost structures of their businesses, and the solid financial position, means that the Group can respond flexibly and efficiently to the changes in the sector.

Consolidation of leadership in Print Media

The strength of the Vocento brands means that Vocento has been able to consolidate its undisputed leadership of the written press, ending the year with 4.9 million readers, more than half a million readers more than its most immediate competitor, according to the latest EGM survey, and with growth in circulation revenues of 1.6% from the previous year.

A major contribution to this came from the 12% rise in revenues from ABC, and the 2% growth in circulation, which made it the only national daily to increase its circulation in 2009, while its competitors experienced a general decline (national market average -10.2%), according to OJD data. The sustained growth of ABC throughout the year has enabled it to close the gap to its most immediate competitor by more than half.

For their part, the regional newspapers of Vocento are maintaining their leadership, with market share of 26.1%, and their brands continue to be leaders in all the regions where they operate. Advertising revenues fell by less than the market average, 23.3% compared to 26.5% for the market.

In addition, in a clear commitment to innovation, Vocento has redesigned and improved the editorial offer of the 12 regional newspapers, adapting them to the needs of their readers.

In the free press area, the daily Qué! has obtained 1,698 thousand readers, according to the third EGM survey.

The supplements XL Semanal and Mujer Hoy continued to be readership leaders in Spain in 2009. In addition, Vocento has continued to strengthen the area of supplements and magazines, which is facilitating its positioning on the Internet, based on the development of integrated offers.

In terms of advertising revenues, the print media of Vocento outperformed the market average, according to the i2p study carried out by Media Hot Line, with revenues of 223 million euros. It should be noted that the pace of decline in advertising spend slowed in the last quarter of the year.

Increasing the value of the audiovisual area

In the audiovisual area, Vocento improved its efficiency and reached positive EBITDA of 10.9 million euros, thanks to strict cost controls and to the positive performance of its national DTT channels.

Vocento competes in this area from a privileged position, thanks to the support of its national and regional DTT licenses, which are positioning it for the challenges that the sector will face following the analogue switch-off in 2010. Disney Channel in 2009 consolidated its position as the leading thematic channel in terms of audience on DTT, with 4 million viewers and DTT share of 3.1%.

A highlight this year was the strategic agreement with Viacom in regional DTT, which has enabled Vocento to launch the first privately owned regional network in Spain, offering, since January, a schedule of high quality content, including Paramount Comedy, MTV, and others.

Elsewhere, Punto Radio consolidated its network and extended its coverage with the acquisition of the Onda Ramblas network of broadcasters in Catalonia and the award of new licenses in the regions of Madrid, Castilla Mancha and Extremadura. Efficiency measures and cost controls led to a reduction in negative EBITDA by almost half in this business in 2009.

The leading media company on the Internet

In 2009, Vocento made a clear commitment to the Internet in order to serve the new habits of consuming news, leisure and entertainment. Thanks to the migration of the strength of its brands from offline media to the online world, Vocento is now the leading media company on the Internet in Spain, with over 10 million unique monthly users, according to Netview in 2010.

The top ten on the internet Positioning Jan 2010
Google 1
Microsoft 2
Facebook 3
Telefónica/Terra 4
Yahoo 5
Wikimedia foundation 6
Vocento 7
Unidad Editorial 8
Priscacom 9
France Telecom 10
Source: Nielsen Netview. January 2010

The redesign of the portals of the regional media, the acquisition of a 33% stake in 11870.com, and the success of the online version of ABC.es -which has launched an online Archive- have all served to reinforce the leadership of Vocento on the Internet.

The Internet area recorded a rise in advertising sales of 21%, compared with the 3.1% growth rate of the market, to 23 million euros, which now represents 8.7% of the total advertising revenues of the group.

Vocento

Vocento is a leading multimedia group with a presence in all areas of information, leisure and entertainment. Supported by the strength of its national and regional brands, and thanks to its permanent commitment to innovation, it forms part of the life of over 24 million people.

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