Today, the meeting of the Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., chaired by Marina Berlusconi, reviewed and approved the Interim Management Statement at 31 March 2018 presented by CEO Ernesto Mauri.
GROUP PERFORMANCE IN FIRST QUARTER 2018
The Group’s performance in first quarter 2018 was affected by the trends of the relevant markets: growth of books on the one hand, a continuing decline in magazines on the other.
Consolidated revenue amounted to approximately € 253.4 million, down by 6.7% versus € 271.6 million in the prior year, due mainly to the performance of the Magazines areas, affected by the acceleration of the negative trends of the relevant markets, in terms of both circulation and advertising, and by a different timing of a number of initiatives. Revenue from the Books Area grew by 1%, driven in particular by the positive performance of the Educational area.
Adjusted EBITDA in first quarter 2018 amounted to € 0.5 million (versus € 4 million in first quarter 2017) – the drop referring to Magazines Italy (down by € 4.4 million) where the ongoing actions to cut operating and structural costs only partly mitigated the decline in revenue triggered by the trend of the traditional markets.
Additionally, the different timing of a number of initiatives (related mainly to events) versus the prior year increased the decline even further. The Books Area, instead, reported a sharp rise, thanks to further operating efficiencies arising from the integration of Rizzoli Libri, and to lower logistics costs following the outsourcing process completed in 2017.
Consolidated EBITDA (down from € 2.3 million to € -3 million) reflects the operating drop, amplified by higher restructuring costs in the quarter versus the same period of 2017, attributable again to the performance of Magazines Italy.
Consolidated EBIT at 31 March 2018 came to € -10.7 million versus € -5.6 million at 31 March 2017, and includes amortization, depreciation and impairment losses of € 7.7 million, down versus € 8 million in the prior year.
The consolidated result before taxes came to € -14.9 million versus € -9.5 million at 31 March 2017, and included:
- the sharp drop in financial charges (from € 3.4 million to € 1.5 million), as a result of an average interest rate that has more than halved versus the prior year (from 4.86% to 2.19%), and of a lower average net debt;
- a negative performance by associates (consolidated at equity), down from
€ -0.5 million to € -2.8 million, due in particular to Mach2 Libri, active in the distribution of books in the Large Retailers channel and put into liquidation on 15 March 2018.
The net result came to € -13.6 million versus € -9.2 million at 31 March 2017.
The Group’s net financial position at 31 March 2018 stood at € -221.9 million, improving by 22.5% versus € -286.2 million at 31 March 2017, as a result of the Group’s positive cash generation from ordinary operations of € 64.9 million.
At 31 March 2018, cash flow from operations in the last twelve months came to a positive
€ 85.3 million; cash flow from ordinary operations (after outlays for financial charges, management of investments and taxes for the period) came to € 64.9 million, confirming the path of improvement of the Group’s business and financial performance.
The cash flow from extraordinary operations came to € -0.7 million.
At 31 March 2018, Group employees amounted to 3,035 units, down by 5.6% versus 3,214 units at 31 March 2017, as a result of the disposal of the logistics activities in May 2017, and of the ongoing restructuring and efficiency improvement measures involving each of the Group’s business areas. Net of the outsourcing of logistics, the drop would amount to 2.6%.
In light of the current relevant context and the results achieved in the first months of the year, the forecasts on 2018, on a like-for-like basis, previously disclosed to the market, can be reasonably confirmed: a slight drop in consolidated revenue; adjusted EBITDA basically steady; profit down versus 2017, which had included positive non-recurring items, and cash flow from ordinary operations forecast in a range between € 55-60 million, improving from the previous forecast of € 50 million.
The Trade Books market in the first three months of the year grew by +4.1%, due also to the time gap of the Easter holidays from the corresponding period of 2017. At April, the market grew by approximately 1%.
Against this backdrop, Mondadori Libri retained its market leadership position with an overall 27.7% share in Trade.
In the period under review, the Group holds the top three positions in the ten bestselling books in terms of value, and has placed a total of eight titles in the ranking: Quando tutto inizia by Fabio Volo (Mondadori); Storie della buonanotte per bambine ribelli 2 by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli (Mondadori); Origin by Dan Brown (Mondadori); Il morso della reclusa by Fred Vargas (Einaudi); Storie della buonanotte per bambine ribelli by Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli (Mondadori); Darker. Cinquanta sfumature di nero raccontate da Christian by E. L. James (Mondadori); Sono sempre io by Jojo Mojes (Mondadori) and La grande truffa by John Grisham (Mondadori).
Revenue in first quarter 2018 amounted to € 73.4 million, up by 1% versus € 72.6 million in the same period of 2017, driven by the positive performance of school textbooks in the Educational Area and by the management and organization of Mondadori Electa exhibitions.
In Trade, revenue in the first three months fell by 7% versus the same period last year, due mainly to the continued strategy of selective production of new titles, aimed at increasing profitability, and to the drop affecting the Large Retailers channel where the Group holds a significant market share.
Adjusted EBITDA of the Books Area came to € -0.8 million, improving significantly versus € -2.9 million in the same period last year, as a result of further operating efficiencies arising from the integration of Rizzoli Libri, of the management streamlining process undertaken in recent years, relating in particular to the reduction in published titles and relating average number of copies, and of lower logistics costs following the outsourcing process completed in 2017.
EBITDA amounted to € -1 million, confirming the above growth versus the prior year (€ -3.1 million at 31 March 2017).
In the first three months of the year, the Retail Area posted revenue of € 43.2 million, up by 0.9% versus the same quarter of the prior year (€ 42.9 million), with Books growing by 3.6% (approximately 82% of total revenue), thanks also to the friendly schedule which in 2018 included sales made during the Easter holidays.
The analysis by channel shows the following:
- a 4% increase by directly-managed bookstores, driven by the positive performance of Books (+2.5% on a like-for-like basis in terms of stores);
- a 7% drop by Megastores, due not only to the shrinking sales in Consumer Electronics, but also to the closure of the Palermo and San Pietro all’Orto stores (+5%, considering the sale of books alone, on a like-for-like basis in terms of stores);
- a 5% increase by Franchised bookstores;
- a 10% growth by the online channel;
- a drop by the book clubs, in line with last year’s trend.
In the first three months of the current year, Mondadori Retail improved its adjusted EBITDA to reach € -1.9 million versus € -2.1 million at 31 March 2017, driven by the first results of the rationalization project regarding directly-managed stores, despite the targeted reduction in consumer electronics product sales.
EBITDA came to € -2.1 million, rebounding sharply versus the three months of 2017 (€ -2.9 million), as a result of lower restructuring costs.
- MAGAZINES ITALY
Against this backdrop, revenue from Magazines Italy amounted to € 70.2 million, down by 13.6% versus € 81.2 million in the same period of 2017. Specifically:
- circulation revenue lost 8.4%, performing slightly better than the relevant market (newsstands and subscriptions);
- advertising revenue (print + web) fell by 11.6%; web advertising sales were steady versus first quarter 2017, while print sales also reflect the different timing of a number of initiatives linked to local-based events (the Panorama d’Italia tour in particular);
- revenue from add-on products dropped sharply (approximately -30%) versus the same period of 2017;
- Press-Di distribution and revenue towards third parties was basically steady versus the prior year (-0.8%).
The Mondadori Group retains its market leadership position in the period, with a 30.8% share in terms of value. The unique audience reached 17.6 million users/month, up by 7% versus first quarter 2017, making the Mondadori Group, once again, Italy’s top traditional publisher also in the digital business.
Adjusted EBITDA in the Magazines Italy Area closed with a negative trend at € 2.1 million versus € 6.6 million in first quarter 2017, due mainly to the drop in revenue triggered by the trend of the relevant markets, only partly alleviated by the ongoing cost actions, and to the different planning of a number of initiatives. The digital area continued to improve and confirmed the increase in adjusted EBITDA also in the reporting period.
The Area’s reported EBITDA (€ -0.8 million from € 6.5 million) deteriorated further, due to the higher restructuring costs in the period from the necessary accelerated structural reduction process.
- MAGAZINES FRANCE
In first quarter 2018, revenue from Mondadori France amounted to € 75.6 million, down by 6.3% versus € 80.7 million in the same period of 2017.
- circulation revenue (75% of the total) posted a –6% drop versus the previous year;
- advertising revenue was down by an overall -9.2% versus the same period of 2017: print (86% of total advertising revenue), fell by 2%, less than the relevant market trend.
Adjusted EBITDA came to € 3.3 million, down from € 3.6 million in the first three months last year. Net of the contribution in first quarter 2017 of NaturaBuy (sold in May 2017), the result was basically steady, thanks to the effective actions launched in 2017 to contain industrial costs, and to the reorganization of the advertising and digital teams that started to produce benefits, fully offsetting the decline in revenue triggered by the trend of the markets.
Reported EBITDA amounted to € 3.2 million, up by approximately 7% versus first quarter 2017, as a result of lower restructuring costs incurred.
SIGNIFICANT EVENTS AFTER THE REPORTING PERIOD
As announced on 24 April 2018, the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting appointed the Board of Directors, composed of 14 members, and the Board of Statutory Auditors, who will remain in office for three years until the approval of the financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2020.
On 2 May 2018, an agreement was concluded on the transfer to HCI Holding of 100% of the share capital of Inthera S.p.A., specialized in strategy, planning and development of content & data driven marketing solutions, CRM, database analysis and management.
The Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore meeting today also reviewed the binding offers received from European Network on the acquisition of the weeklies Tustyle and Confidenze.
The Board concurrently resolved to authorize the CEO to carry out the activities for completing the transaction, which falls into the repeatedly announced strategy of focusing the product portfolio on core brands with greater profitability and multi-channel development potential.
The documentation relating to the presentation of the results at 31 March 2018, is made available through the authorized storage mechanism 1Info (www.1info.it) and in the Investors section of the Company’s website www.gruppomondadori.it.
The Interim Management Statement at 31 March 2018 will be made available at the Company’s registered office, on the authorized storage mechanism (www.1Info.it) and in the Investors section of the Company’s website www.gruppomondadori.it by the end of today.
PUBLICATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. informs that the minutes of the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting held on 24 April 2018 are available at the Company’s registered office, on the authorized storage mechanism (www.1info.it) and in the Governance section of the Company’s website www.gruppomondadori.it.
The Financial Reporting Manager – Oddone Pozzi – hereby declares, pursuant to art. 154 bis, par. 2, of the Consolidated Finance Law, that the accounting information contained herein corresponds to the Company’s records, books and accounting entries.
Annexes (in the pdf file):
- Consolidated balance sheet;
- Consolidated income statement;
- Group cash flow;
- Glossary of terms and alternative performance measures used.
 Beginning from 1 January 2018 (and to provide a consistent presentation, also for 2017), the Group has adopted the new IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers – revenue recognition standard, which applies to all contracts stipulated with customers, with the exception of those that fall within the scope of application of other IAS/IFRS standards such as leases, insurance contracts and financial instruments. The new IFRS 15 presents revenue and costs differently, with no effect on EBITDA. Beginning from 2018, the result generated by associates (consolidated at equity), previously classified in adjusted EBITDA, is shown under EBIT; for consistency, 2017 has been reclassified accordingly
 Source: GFK, March 2018, figures in terms of value
 Source: GFK, March 2018, figures in terms of value
 -9.3% in terms of value (Internal source: Press-Di, cumulative figures at February 2018 newsstands + subscriptions)
 -11% (Source: Nielsen, cumulative figures at March 2018)
 Internal source: Press-Di, cumulative figures at March 2018 newsstands + subscriptions
 Source: Audiweb, January-February 2018 average figure
 (-9.9%. Kantar Media, cumulative figures in terms of value at February)