The Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori S.p.A. met today, under the Chairmanship of Marina Berlusconi, to examine and approve the consolidated balance sheet and management report for the year to 31st December 2008 as presented by the Group’s Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, Maurizio Costa.
The market scenario
As is well known, there was a further worsening of the macro-economic scenario in the last three months of 2008. Indeed, the downturn was worse than the already pessimistic forecasts and the crisis that affected the financial sector at an international level had a serious impact on the productive sectors, on employment and on consumer spending in industrialised countries, as well as slowing growth in developing countries. Confirmation of the depth of the current recession comes also from the extremely negative perceptions regarding the evolution of the situation in the short to mid-term, with an inevitable impact on investments and spending. Also in Italy, where the banking system has been less exposed to assets risks than other European countries and the United States, the crisis has, nevertheless, had a serious effect on the real economy, with a fall in GDP of 1%, something not seen since 1975.
For Mondadori and its markets of reference, the following observations can be made:
– in Italy, while there was not an acceleration in the downturn in both circulation and add-on sales, the Group’s market share remained essentially unchanged. On the advertising front, investments, in the last part of the year, saw a marked fall. Meanwhile, the volume of business in the book sector, in which the Mondadori Group consolidated its position of absolute leadership, remained essentially unchanged;
– in France the downward trend in advertising continued, while magazine circulation, both newsstand sales and subscriptions, were in line with the previous year.
MANAGEMENT RESULTS AT 31 DECEMBER 2008
As communicated to the market in October 2008, Mondadori sold 80% of the share capital of Mondadori Printing S.p.A. to Gruppo Pozzoni; a comparison between the Mondadori Group’s consolidated revenues and gross operating profit in December 2008 and the figures for the previous year are consequently also represented on a like-for-like basis, excluding. Consequently, the results, both for 2007 and 2008, of printing activities sold with effect on the company’s accounts from the month of November 2008 and, therefore, consolidated for only ten months of 2008.
Consolidated revenues for 2008 came to €1,819.2 million (-7.1% on the €1,958.6 million of 2007).On a like-for-like basis, the fall was of 6%. While, net of the add-on sales, turnover recorded a fall of 2.5%.
Consolidated gross operating profit for the year amounted to €249.2 million (-7.3% compared with the €268.9 million in the previous year). As a proportion of revenues, the figure is 13.7%, in line with 2007.
Excluding the activities of Mondadori Printing, the difference in operating profit was -€2.7 million (-1.2%), essentially due to: the positive business performance (+€6.5 million); a fall in add-on sales (-€13.3 million); increased investments in business development (-€7.9 million); higher organisational restructuring costs (-€4.7 million) and increased capital gains (+€16.7 million).
Consolidated operating profit came to €203.5 million, (-9.6% on the €225.2 million of 2007), with amortizations and depreciations of fixed assets of €31.1 million (€36.5 million in 2007) and of intangible assets of €14.6 million (€7.2 million in 2007).
As a proportion of revenues, as shift from 11.5% in 2007 to 11.2%.
Consolidated profit before taxation amounted to €151.4 million (-20.1% compared with the €189.5 million of 2007). Net financial charges increased by €16.4 million due to the higher cost of debt (around €6 million), lower returns on financial assets (around €8.3 million, partly due to writedowns) and financial charges for actualization of the deferred part of the payment for Mondadori Printing (€2.1 million).
Consolidated net profit on 31 December 2008 amounted to €97.1 million (-13.8% compared with €112.6 million in the previous year).
Gross cash flow for came to €142.8 million, compared with €156.3 million in 2007.
The net financial position went from -€535.3 million at the end of 2007 to -€490.3 million on 31 December 2008; during the period payments for tax of €80.4 million and dividends of €83.8 million were made, while the positive financial effect of the sale of 80% of Mondadori Printing S.p.A. amounted to €121.4 million.
THE BUSINESS AREAS
Against a general background of falling consumer spending, the performance of the trade segment of the Italian book market in 2008 was essentially in line with that of 2007 (-0.6% in terms of value, for medium to large sized bookstores: source Nielsen Bookscan).
In this context the Mondadori Book Division confirmed, by a wide margin, its leadership, with a market share of 28.8%; total revenues amounted to €434.3 million (-2.4% on the €445 million of the previous year).
The slight downturn in revenues, largely the result of a marked fall in the sale of rights for add-on sales initiatives, would, therefore, net of add-on sales, be -1.1%.
During the period Mondadori maintained the excellent levels of profitability of the previous year, with a gross operating profit, as a proportion of revenues of 19.1%.
In 2008 the Group published 2,695 new titles (compared with 2,742 in 2007) and 5,225 reprints (5,242 in 2007), a total of 53.4 million copies, compared with 54.6 million in 2007.
Among the Group’s publishing houses, Edizioni Mondadori recorded 2008 revenues of €144 million (+4.7% compared with €137.6 million the previous year). Of note during the year was the success of two first-time authors whose books sold more than one million copies: Paolo Giordano, winner of the Strega Prize with his novel La solitudine dei numeri primi and Roberto Saviano with the long seller Gomorra, first published in 2006. Also of note was the new novel by Margaret Mazzantini, Venuto al mondo, which sold more than 300,000 copies. There were also good results for Idi di marzo by Valerio Massimo Manfredi (250,000 copies) and Storia di neve by Mauro Corona (100,000 copies).
Einaudi generated revenues for the year of €51.7 million, an increase of 3.6% on the €49.9 million of 2007. This increase was the result of excellent sales through the bookshop and large-scale retail channels, thanks to the very positive sales of numerous books with average and high print runs.
With a market share of 13.4%, Mondadori Education in 2008 maintained a significant position in the educational market and leadership in the primary school textbook segment: net sales revenues generated by the company in the period amounted to €86.1 million (-1.1% on the €87.1 million of the previous year).
The Magazine Division generated consolidated revenues in 2008 of €949.8 million (-9.3% on the €1,047.7 million of 2007).
Mondadori maintained in 2008 its position of absolute pre-eminence, with revenues in Italy of €575.7 million (-12.5% compared with €657.8 million in 2007); net of add-on sales, the fall was of 4.4%.
Performace during the year was characterised by the following phenomena
– A fall in circulation revenues of 5.1%, in line with the market of reference;
– A marked decline in add-on sales (-28.6%) in line with the sector, but with good levels of profitability;
– A fall in advertising revenues of 5.3%, in a market that fell by 7.1%: it is a downturn that was especially marked in the second half of the year.
Among women’s titles, Donna Moderna consolidated its leadership; in newsmagazines, Economy saw a significant increase in its newsstand sales.
In the TV listings segment, which has been hit by a generalised fall in circulation, TV Sorrisi e Canzoni bucked the trend by maintaining weekly sales of more than one million copies. In the entertainment segment, Chi remained the most vivacious magazine with sales in line with 2007. In the up market women’s segment, while Grazia and Flair recorded more limited circulation, sales were still in line with the previous year and they had a marked penetration in the advertising market. Good results were recorded by both the cooking and design titles.
In 2008 Mondadori France generated total revenues of €374.1 million (-4.1% compared with the €389.9 million of 2007).
Circulation revenues by Mondadori France, which account for 70% of the total, remained at the level of the previous year (+0.6% on a like-for-like basis, net of the sale of niche title in the Sport e Loisirs area), thanks also to the positive performance of the leading titles, as Closer that confirmed its leadership in its segment; there was a positive performance in the up market segment Haut de gamme, in which Mondadori has Biba, and as a consequence of re-designs on a number of titles in the Femme Grand Public segment. There was a drop, in line with the market, for TV titles.
On the add-on sales front, the initiatives launched by the company during the year generated an increase in revenues of 7.2% compared with the previous year, but with the negative contribution being the result of a market that is structurally still not ready for development.
The revenues of Mondadori France from the sale of advertising saw a downturn of 14.5% in 2008, in line with a market in considerable difficulty; on a comparable basis the fall was of 12.3%.
The company, which is also penalised by its poor presence in the up-market segment, the only sector that grew compared with the previous year, did, in any case, safeguard its market share.
In terms of profitability Mondadori France in 2008 generated a gross operating profit, as a proportion of revenues, of 10.5% (12.5% net of add-on sales), thanks also to the ongoing control and reduction of costs that have generated savings in industrial distribution and labour costs.
2008 was characterised by intense number of new launches of the Mondadori Group titles in international markets, including Flair in Austria, Casaviva in Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, Sale e Pepe in Romania, Grazia Casa in Croatia. The Grazia network expanded during the period to include new editions in India and Australia, both of which generated positive results from the first months of publication.
During the year the stage was set for the launch of Grazia in China and Casaviva in India, which went ahead in the first quarter of 2009.
Overall, at the end of the year, the Mondadori titles in world markets numbered nineteen, with revenues from licensing and commissions from the sale of advertising up by 30% on 2007.
There were also positive results from the Greek subsidiary Attica, leader in circulation and advertising in Greece and with a significant presence also in Romania and Bulgaria.
Mondadori Pubblicità ended the year with revenues of €331 million (-5.3% on the €349.5 million of 2007). Thanks to a good performance in the first half of the year, the company was able to at least partially offset the marked downturn in the market in the second half.
In particular, in a magazine market that lost 7.3%, the company recorded sales on its portfolio of titles of €242.6 million (-4.8%).
In the radio market, meanwhile, which showed an overall increase of 2.3%, R101 saw its advertising revenues grow by 23.9%. There was also a significant increase in advertising sales for the Group’s web sites (+27%), in a market that grew by 13.9%.
As mentioned above, the consolidated revenues from the Group’s printing activities refer only to the first ten months of the year. During this period there was a marked downturn in turnover, which came to €316.3 million (-28.1% on the €439.9 million of 2007).
This fall was the result of, in addition to two fewer months of business, the loss of the contribution of Mondadori Education that had been present in 2007, a marked reduction in magazine paginations and a sharp fall in the market for add-on sales.
- Direct marketing
In 2008 Cemit Interactive Media recorded revenues of €22.3 million, a fall of 6.7% on the €23.9 million of the previous year, while maintaining an excellent level of profitability (+18.4%).
Total revenues by the Retail Division in 2008 amounted to €194.5 million (+6.2% on the €183.2 million of 2007). During the period the Group’s network of stores reached 434 units, making it Italy’s most extensive network of sale outlets for editorial products.
Mondadori Retail S.p.A. generated 2008 revenues of €128 million (+2.7% on the €124.6 million of 2007). During the year, having completed the integration of the ex-Messaggerie Musicali, there was an increase in the number of outlets (up to 30 from the 29 in 2007) and a simultaneous rationalisation of the chain.
Mondadori Franchising S.p.A. generated revenues of €66.5 million (+13.7% on the €58.5 million of 2007). During the period there was an increase in the number of bookstores, from 212 in 2007 to 227 in December 2008, while the number of Edicolè outlets rose from 136 in 2007 to 177 in 2008. Of note was also the testing of and formats were, including a children’s bookshop and a new form of franchising that combines the traditional bookshop and the book club.
In 2008 R101 recorded net revenues of €14.8 million (+31% on the €11.3 million of 2007), which corresponds to gross advertising sales of €21.8 million (+23.9% on the €16 million of 2007), in a market that grew by just 2.3%.
In terms of ratings, the Mondadori Group’s radio reached an average daily audience of 2.1 million listeners, an increase of 7%, confirming its position among the top six Italian commercial radio stations, with around 8.4 million listeners over the 7-days.
RESULTS OF THE PARENT COMPANY ARNOLDO MONDADORI EDITORE S.P.A.
The Annual Report of the parent company, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore SpA, for the year to 31 December 2008, shows a net profit of €66.2 million (€90 million on 31 December 2007).
FORECAST FOR THE FULL YEAR
As is known, figures for consumer spending in the first months of the current year, in all the principal economic sectors, show a further decline compared to the end of 2008 and a climate of great uncertainty means that also investments are down or, at least, postponed.
In the previous year, the Mondadori Group was able to safeguard its levels of profitability thanks to the diversification of the business and, above all, to cost cuts, in anticipation of the growing crisis.
For a 2009 that is already heavily influenced by the consequences of the general situation in the publishing sector and the impact of technological changes, the company will continue to pursue cost savings, organisational simplification and the re-engineering of processes, also through the specific allocation of dedicated investments.
The trend in revenues in the first months of the year and the objective difficulty in foreseeing developments and the evolution in consumer spending and investments, especially in advertising, over the coming months, suggest a prudent approach in forecasting the company’s performance in 2009, which, in any case, is not expected to be at the same level as the previous year.
PROPOSAL FOR THE ALLOCATION OF THE NET PROFIT FOR THE YEAR 2008
The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders, to be held on 29 April 2009 (on first calling, or 30 April on second calling), the allocation of the entire net profit for the year to 31 December 2008 of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., amounting to €66,197,031.51 to an extraordinary reserve.
Given the lack of clear signs of an improvement in the market, the Board’s proposal to not distribute a dividend for 2008 is aimed at allowing Mondadori to maintain its financial solidity, maintain the necessary levels of investment in products, finance the reorganisation process, and to ensure that the company is ready to take advantage of possible opportunities deriving from a recovery in the economic cycle.
PROPOSAL TO THE SHAREHOLDERS FOR A STOCK OPTION PLAN FOR THE THREE-YEAR PERIOD 2009-2011
Following the termination of the Stock Option plan for the previous three-year period 2006-2008, the Board of Directors have resolved, following the recommendations of the Remuneration Committee, to propose to the Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders, to be held on 29 April 2009 (on first calling, or 30 April on second calling) a Stock Option Plan for the three-year period 2009-2011, as per Art 114 bis of Legislative Decree, 58/1998.
The purpose of the Plan is essentially to give the company and its subsidiaries access to a tool with which to promote loyalty and render the management more directly involved in the results.
In conformity with art. 114 bis of legislative decree N°58 of 24 February 1998, the fundamental characteristics of the Plan to be approved by the shareholders are as follows:
Participants in the Plan
Participants in the Plan will be identified by the Board of Directors from: managers of the company or its subsidiaries with functions critical for the attainment of the group’s strategic objectives; directors of the company and its subsidiaries; journalists of the company and its subsidiaries with the position of editor or co-editor; managers of the holding company who carry out their function in the interest of the company.
Participants may therefore also include “relevant subjects” belonging to the categories, as at Art. 152 sexies, para. 1, C.1), C2) of CONSOB Regulation 11971/1999.
Implementation of the Plan
The Plan is organised in annual allocations to the participants of options, which are personal and non-transferable, for the acquisition of shares of the company, held in the portfolio or through subsidiary companies. Implementation of the plan is subordinate to the attainment of the company’s performance objectives as determined by the Board of directors following the recommendations of the Remuneration Committee. Exercise of the allocated options will be further subordinate to a lock-up period and will be possible only within a defined period.
Criteria for the determination of the purchase price of shares
The price of such shares will be calculated on the basis of the arithmetical average of the reference price of Mondadori ordinary shares, in the period measured by the Borsa Italiana that goes from the date of allocation to the same day of the previous month.
Subject to the approval by the AGM, Board of directors will define, in the light of the above, Regulations for the implementation of the Stock Option Plan.
RE-ATTRIBUTION OF POWERS AS PER ARTT. 2443 AND 2420 TER OF THE CIVIL CODE
Following the expiry of the five-year attribution of powers made by the Shareholders’ Meeting of 2004, the forthcoming AGM (the extraordinary part), to be held on 29 April 2009 (on first calling, or 30 April on second calling), will be asked to approve the re-attribution of powers to the Board of Directors to resolve capital increases and the issue of convertible bonds, as per artt. 2443 and 2420 ter of the Civil Code.
The new powers are in line with the previous expiring powers, both in terms of duration (five years, in accordance with current legislation) and for the maximum sums (a nominal €78 million and €260 million respectively).
The executive responsible for the preparation of the company’s accounts, Carlo Maria Vismara, declares that, as per art. 2, 154 bis of the Single Finance Text, the accounting information contained in this release corresponds to that contained in the company’s formal accounts.
The results of 2008 will be outlined by the deputy chairman and chief executive, Maurizio Costa, and the CFO, Carlo Maria Vismara, at a meeting with the financial community to be held today at 2.30 pm at the company’s headquarters in Segrate.