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Vocento Social

Vocento reports net profit of 34.6 million euros in 2008

  • Circulation sales, the contribution of audiovisual content, and growth on the Internet, offset the impact of the financial crisis
  • ABC continues to grow, and is the only national newspaper to increase circulation by double digits
  • The Company's solid financial position means that it can continue with its strategic focus

Vocento closed 2008 with net profit of 34.6 million euros, despite the difficult economic environment and the generalised decline in advertising. The increase in circulation sales, the good performance of the Internet, and the growth of the audiovisual area have allowed the Company to close a difficult year with higher market share and with a better positioning in national media and on the Internet.

Earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were 29.3 million euros, excluding non-recurring costs associated with restructuring measures. EBITDA reflected the impact of the advertising crisis and the incorporation of the free daily Qué! in the consolidation perimeter, as well as Vocento's strategy of balancing cost controls with investment in business development. Reported EBITDA for the year was -14.7 million euros, including non-recurring costs.

In a difficult environment which has had a significant impact on companies in the media sector, Vocento has stood out from the competition due to its solid financial position, with cash of over 85 million euros, a low risk debt profile, and available credit lines of over 200 million euros, allowing the Company to implement cost controls and cost cuts while continuing with its long term strategic focus.

In 2008, Vocento booked capital gains from the sale of part of the land belonging to ABC (+30.0 million euros) and from the placing of a 1.9% stake in Telecino and the distribution of reserves in shares of this company. This distribution means that Vocento has complied with its commitment to shareholder remuneration by making an advance payment of the dividend equivalent to the next two years, and it modifies its dividend policy of a 75% pay out for 2008 and 2009.

Results by business area

In print media, Vocento has reinforced its leadership, with 5.4 million readers (according to the third EGM survey). The excellent performance of ABC has contributed to this result, with the newspaper increasing its circulation for the fifth consecutive quarter, and by 10.3% in the year.

The newspaper, which is over one hundred years old, was the only national daily to increase circulation by a double digit rate, in a very competitive environment and in a stagnant market. Meanwhile, the regional press has maintained its leadership, with market share of 25.3%, well above the number two regional press company.

Another highlight is the significant performance of Qué!, which increased its circulation by 15.3% to 2.3 million readers, making it the second most widely read newspaper in Spain.

In the audiovisual area, the commitment to the cost control policy has been reflected in a significant improvement in EBITDA, with losses reduced by over 6 million euros. Highlights include the major improvement in EBITDA at local television (+3.7 million euros), the implementation of the business model for national DTT, and the control of costs in the content and radio areas.

The highest growth was recorded by the Internet area, where, in a context of generalised decline, advertising sales rose by 26%. Vocento ended the year as the leading media group in the Internet in the Netview ranking of December 2008, with 22.7 million unique monthly users, 47.7% more than in the previous year.

These good results were based on the strong performance of the online editions (abc.es increased by 37.6% and the regional portals by 11.3%), on the vertical portals, particularly following the incorporation of finanzas.com, which grew by 70.6%, and on classifieds, with the launch of pisos.com reinforcing the positioning in the three key categories of Employment, Real Estate, and Automotive.


Vocento is one of the leading multimedia groups in Spain, thanks to the power of its brands, which are the basis of the company's solid position on the Internet, in both national and regional media.

ABC is Vocento's major national publication, and, as with the free daily Qué!, readers of the online edition benefit from the know-how and professional experience that guarantees them the highest quality of information.

The regional media businesses, El Correo, El Diario Vasco, El Diario Monta&ntile;és, La Verdad, Ideal, Hoy, Sur, La Rioja, El Norte de Castilla, El Comercio, La Voz de Cádiz and Las Provincias are local leaders in their areas of action, and are committed to high quality, independent journalism, in close contact with the regions that they serve.

The Company is also the leader in the publication of general supplements (XL Semanal, Mujer Hoy, TVMás) and specialist magazines (Mi Cartera de Inversión and corporate magazines). As with Vocento's other titles, these publications are leveraging the Internet to enable the brands to continue to develop and grow.

Vocento is also one of the main players in the audiovisual and entertainment sectors in Spain, in radio (Punto Radio), national DTT (Disney Channel and Intereconomía TV), and also in audiovisual production (including "Hospital Central", "El Gran Prix", "Pasapalabra," "21 dias," and others) and movie distribution ("Sex and the City," "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "Appaloosa").

The leadership of Vocento's brands is reflected in its presence on the Internet, where it has more than 22.7 million unique users, according to Site Census, putting Vocento in an excellent position to capture the migration online.