corporate

Board of Directors approves results as at 31 March 2024

Q1 2024 closes with revenue at +3.8% and adjusted EBITDA at +9.3%

Outlook for FY 2024 confirmed

  • Consolidated revenues for Q1 2024 of € 166.1 million, up 3.8% on the Q1 2023 figure of € 160 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA of € 4.8 million in Q1 2024, up 9.3% on the € 4.4 million recorded for the same period of the previous year
  • Q1 2024 EBIT negative by € 8.7 million, slightly down (by € 0.5 million) compared to 31 March 2023 due to higher amortisation linked to the investment policy
  • Group net profit as of 31 March 2024, negative by € 7.1 million, down by approximately € 2 million compared to the net loss of € 5.2 million in Q1 2023
  • Ordinary Cash Flow as of 31 March 2024 positive by € 69 million, slightly up compared to 31 December 2023
  • IFRS 16 Net Financial Position as of 31 March 2024 at € -205.5 million (net debt), from € -220.8 million in 2023, due to significant cash generation by the business and despite the dividend distribution cash-out and the acquisition of Star Shop
  • Outlook 2024 confirmed

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 2024 presented by Chief Executive Officer Antonio Porro.

“I am very pleased with the economic and financial results achieved in the first quarter. Despite this being the seasonally less relevant period of the year, they allow us to confirm the outlook for the 2024 financial year. Furthermore, in the first few months of the current financial year our Group continued to develop its core businesses, focusing in particular on strengthening its presence in book publishing. We finalised the acquisition of 51% of Star Shop, a distribution and sales outlet management company operating in the comics segment, consolidated since 1st February, and, just a few weeks ago, we completed the acquisition of 100% of Chelsea Green Publishing, a publishing house focused on sustainability issues, which not only allows us to diversify our editorial portfolio, but marks a further step forward in our growth journey outside the Italian trade market, in the United States and the United Kingdom”, says Antonio Porro, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Mondadori Group.

Consolidated revenues for Q1 2024 amounted to € 166.1 million, having grown by 3.8% on Q1 2023 (€ 160 million). Net of the change in consolidation scope between the two periods under review, resulting from the consolidation of Star Shop, organic revenue growth was 1.5%.

Adjusted EBITDA for Q1 2024 was € 4.8 million, up 9.3% on the € 4.4 million recorded for the same period of 2023, mainly thanks to the performance of the Trade BOOKS and RETAIL areas.

EBITDA for Q1 2024 came to € 5.7 million, compared to € 4.7 million as at 31 March 2023, showing an improvement of approximately € 1.1 million (+22.7%) due to the favourable dynamics of the management and extraordinary components.

The Mondadori Group’s EBIT for Q1 2024, negative by € 8.7 million, was € 0.5 million lower than the first three months of 2023 owing to the higher amortisation and depreciation recorded in the period, amounting to € 1.5 million, resulting both from the greater investments made in the last twelve months (€ +1 million, including € 0.25 million for the new flagship store project in Piazza Duomo) and from the accounting effects of the Purchase Price Allocation process (€ +0.5 million compared to Q1 2023) connected with the M&A transactions completed during 2023, particularly in the Trade BOOKS area.

Financial expense grew by 0.2 million in total as a result of greater charges linked to the IFRS 16 debt.

The consolidated result before tax for Q1 2024 is negative by € 10.2 million, down by approximately € 1.4 million from the € -8.8 million recorded on 31 March 2023, mainly due to a lower contribution (of approximately € 0.7 million) from the earnings of associates, which in the first quarter of 2023 benefited from a non-recurring component resulting from the fair value revaluation of the investment in the company A.L.I. of € 1.3 million.

The tax component for Q1 2024 is positive by € 4.1 million compared to € 3.6 million as at 31 March 2023 due to the lower pre-tax result.

The net profit attributable to the Group as at 31 March 2024 was negative by € 7.1 million, down compared to the net loss recorded in the first quarter of 2023 (€ -5.2 million) of approximately € 2 million, half of it deriving from the dynamics already mentioned and the remaining part linked to the greater share of the result pertaining to third parties (€ 1 million).

The Net Financial Position excluding IFRS 16 as of 31 March 2024 was € -133.3 million (net debt), an improvement of more than € 17 million compared to € -150.7 million in Q1 2023, due to significant cash generation by the business and despite the dividend distribution cash-out and the acquisition of Star Shop. The IFRS 16 Net Financial Position as of 31 March 2024 amounted to € -205.5 million (net debt), from € -220.8 million in 2023, due to an IFRS 16 debt component of € -72.3 million.

Cash flow from ordinary operations (after cash-out for financial expense and tax) in the twelve months prior to 31 March 2024 amounted to € 69 million and allows the Group to continue to strengthen its financial structure. Extraordinary cash flow was negative by € 19.2 million, mainly due to net cash-outs related to acquisitions and disposals of around € 10 million and restructuring costs of around € 5 million.

Consequently, LTM Free Cash Flow at 31 March 2024 was positive for € 49.8 million, confirming the Group’s capacity to finance its inorganic growth policy and shareholder remuneration policy.

PERFORMANCE OF BUSINESS AREAS

Trade BOOKS AREA

The first three months of 2024 saw a slight decline of 3.8% (in value) in the book market, resulting in particular from the trend in the months of January-February; in fact, the performance in March decidedly bucked the trend, showing an increase of 8.2% on the previous year.
In this context, the Mondadori Group’s publishing houses recorded a 4.7% drop compared to the first three months of 2023, which had however benefited from the publication of “Spare. Il minore” (Spare), the highly successful biography of Prince Harry published by Mondadori. Net of the revenue made from this book in 2023, Q1 2024 shows growth of 1.8% and therefore a significantly better performance than the reference market.

The Mondadori Group maintained its national leadership with a market share of 27.2% as of March 2024.

Revenue for Q1 2024 increased by 4.2%, 1.7% net of the consolidation of Star Shop: despite the first quarter of 2023 having benefited from the huge success of the publication of “Spare. Il minore” (Spare), the biography of Prince Harry published by Mondadori. This positive result is attributable in particular to the quality of the editorial plan implemented by the publishing houses and to several special initiatives, as well as to the growth in digital revenues.

The Adjusted EBITDA of the Trade BOOKS area for Q1 2024 stood at 14.8 million, having grown by approximately 12% (€ 1.6 million), largely due to the improved profitability of the publishing houses.

Education BOOKS AREA

School textbook publishing experiences a typical seasonal performance that sees sales squeezed in the second half of the year following the adoption campaign: as a result, the relating market shares for 2024 are unavailable at this time. For the same reasons, revenue achieved in the first three months typically represents less than 5% of the annual figure.

In the first quarter of 2024, the school textbooks business recorded an overall revenue of € 9.2 million, up 8.4% compared to Q1 2023 (€ 8.5 million) with a positive change attributable to the advance on supplies to top accounts, and therefore showing a performance that is not representative of the trend for the entire financial year.

Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2024 stood at € -13.8 million compared to € -11.7 million in the same period of 2023, as a result of the advanced production of the new textbooks made available to the sales network to support their promotion. Note that this result is not significant as it stems from the aforementioned seasonality of the business, with the costs of the operational structure and development of the textbooks marketed during the adoption campaign completed at the end of the month of May being recorded during the first quarter.

RETAIL AREA

As previously stated, there was a 3.8% decline (in value) in the book market in Italy in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period of 2023. In this context there was a substantial stability of the physical channel (+0.4%) and a simultaneous negative trend in the online channel (estimated at -9.8%).
The Mondadori Group’s RETAIL area, however, recorded growth of 2.7% in Q1 2024, with a better performance compared to the market. Consequently, Mondadori Retail’s market share in the Book product stands at 12.5% (up 0.8% compared to 31 March 2023), driven by an excellent performance of direct and franchised stores.

In the first three months, revenue amounted to € 43.8 million, a 9% increase compared to the first quarter of 2023, also due to the consolidation of Star Shop’s retail activities. Organic growth amounted to 5.2%, driven by the Book product, sales of which increased by +4.9% (€ +1.6 million).
In the first three months, the RETAIL area presented an Adjusted EBITDA of € 2.3 million, highlighting growth of over 35% compared to the first quarter of 2023 (€ +0.6 million), attributable to the growth in revenues, in particular of the Book product, and the continued development and renewal of the direct store network.

MEDIA AREA

In the first two months of 2024, the advertising market (excluding search, social, classified and OTT) showed an increase of 4% compared to the previous year.
In Q1 2024, the MEDIA area recorded revenues of € 32 million, a slight decrease of 1% due to the effect of the traditional business, mainly resulting from the structural contraction of joint sales. Conversely, the digital business, which accounts for approximately 42% of the area’s revenues, show an overall growth in advertising revenues of 25% resulting in particular from the positive performance of the MarTech segment and the excellent results of the social agency activities launched in early 2023.

The Adjusted EBITDA of the MEDIA area in the first quarter of 2024 stood at € 3.2 million, having grown by approximately 11% compared to the previous year, owing to the performance of the digital business, the constant improvement in operational activities and the reduction in the cost of paper.

OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR

In light of the results achieved in the first quarter and the reference markets scenario, the Group believes it can confirm the previously communicated guidance for the 2024 financial year.

Income Statement

  • low single-digit revenue growth;
  • mid single-digit growth in the Adjusted EBITDA, with margins expected to remain stable at around 17%, thanks to targeted pricing policies and the further reduction of paper and printing costs.

Financial data

In the financial year 2024, the Group is expected to confirm the significant cash generation capacity and therefore an Ordinary Cash Flow of around € 70 million.

2024-2026 PERFORMANCE SHARE PLAN: ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHTS

The Board of Directors, having heard the Remuneration Committee, resolved on the assignments to the beneficiaries of the rights relating to the 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan, established by resolution of the Shareholders’ Meeting of 24 April 2024. Information regarding the beneficiaries and the number of rights assigned are shown – by name, for the beneficiaries who are members of the Board of Directors, and in aggregate form for the other beneficiaries – in the table attached, prepared in compliance with Box 1, Schedule no. 7 of Annex 3A of the Issuer Regulation. The terms and conditions of the Plan are set out in the Directors’ Explanatory Report to the Shareholders’ Meeting of 24 April 2024 and in the Information Document prepared pursuant to Article 84-bis, paragraph 1 of the Issuers’ Regulation, available on the website www.gruppomondadori.it Governance section and on the storage mechanism www.1info.it to the contents of which reference should be made.

PUBLICATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. informs that the minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting held on 24 April 2024 are available on the authorised storage mechanism 1Info (www.1info.it), in the Governance section of the Company website www.mondadorigroup.com and at the Company’s registered office.

The Interim Management Statement at 31 March 2024 is made available by today through the authorised storage mechanism 1Info (www.1Info.it), on www.mondadorigroup.com (Investors section) and at the registered office.

The presentation of the results at 31 March 2024, approved today by the Board of Directors, is available on www.1info.it and on www.mondadorigroup.com (Investors section). A Q&A session will be held in conference call mode at 4.00 pm for the financial community, attended by the CEO of the Mondadori Group, Antonio Porro, and the CFO, Alessandro Franzosi. Journalists will be able to follow the meeting in listening mode only, by connecting to the following phone number +39.02.8020927 or via web at: https://hditalia.choruscall.com/?calltype=2&info=company.

The Financial Reporting Manager – Alessandro Franzosi – hereby declares, pursuant to Article 154 bis, paragraph 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 complete pdf):

  1. Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
  2. Consolidated Income Statement
  3. Group cash flow
  4. Glossary of terms and alternative performance measures used
  5. Information pursuant to Schedule 7 of Annex 3a to CONSOB Regulation no. 11971/1999

Shareholders’s meeting approves the 2023 financial statements and the distribution of a dividend of 0.12 per share, 9% up on the previous year

Board of Directors appointed: Marina Berlusconi Chairman, Antonio Porro confirmed Chief Executive Officer

Today, the Shareholders’ Meeting of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., chaired by Marina Berlusconi, approved the financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2023.

The Parent Company’s income statement at 31 December 2023 shows the same net profit as in the consolidated financial statements of € 62.4 million (€ 52.1 million in 2022), due to the fact that the Company has chosen to use the equity method to measure its investments in the separate financial statements.

In accordance with the proposal put forward by the Board of Directors, which was the subject of a notice issued on 14 March, the Shareholders’ Meeting approved the distribution of a dividend 0.12 euros, gross of withholding taxes, per ordinary share outstanding at the following record dates (net of treasury shares).
The total dividend amounted to approximately € 31 million, up by 9% compared to the previous year: this amount corresponds to a pay-out of 50% of the net profit for 2023 and a dividend yield of almost 6% (as of 31 December 2023). The amount will be paid by drawing on the distributable portion of the extraordinary reserve (included in the equity item “Other reserves profit/loss carried forward”).

In compliance with the provisions of the “Regulations for markets organised and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A.” and as already announced, the dividend will be paid in two equal tranches:

  • unit amount of € 0.06 for each ordinary share (net of treasury shares) outstanding at the record date stated below, from 22 May 2024 (payment date), with ex-dividend date no. 23 on 20 May 2024 (ex date) and with the date of entitlement to payment of the dividend, pursuant to Article 83-terdecies of the TUF (record date), on 21 May 2024;
  • unit amount of € 0.06 for each ordinary share (net of treasury shares) outstanding on the record date stated below, from 20 November 2024 (payment date), with ex-dividend date 24 on 18 November 2024 (ex date) and with the date of entitlement to payment of the dividend, pursuant to Article 83-terdecies of the TUF (record date), on 19 November 2024.

APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


The Meeting appointed the new Board of Directors; the 12 members will remain in office for three years until approval of the financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2026.

The Board was elected based on the lists submitted by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A., holder of no. 139,355,950 shares, equal to 53.299% of the share capital and 69.853% of the voting rights, and by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors holding a total of no. 15,660,100 shares, equal to 5.989% of the share capital.

The members of the new Board of Directors are:

  • Marina Berlusconi (Chairman), Antonio Porro, Pier Silvio Berlusconi, Alessandro Franzosi, Danilo Pellegrino, Elena Biffi, Francesco Currò, Cristina Rossello, Paola Elisabetta Galbiati, Marina Rubini, Riccardo Perotta (from the majority list presented by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A.);
  • Pietro Bracco (from the minority list submitted by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors).

The majority list received 79.40% of the votes cast at the Meeting. The composition of the Board of Directors complies with the provisions on gender equality set out in Article 147-ter, paragraph 1-ter of the TUF.

After the Shareholders’ Meeting, the Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., chaired by Marina Berlusconi, appointed Antonio Porro as Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.

The Board of Directors then assessed and ascertained the meeting of the independence requirements, pursuant to Article 148, paragraph three of the TUF and the Corporate Governance Code, for Directors Elena Biffi, Paola Elisabetta Galbiati, Marina Rubini, Riccardo Perotta and Pietro Bracco.

In making its assessments, the Board referred – taking account, among other things, of the provisions of Article 2, recommendation 7 of the Corporate Governance Code – also to the “Policy concerning the criteria for assessing the independence requirements of directors”, already adopted by Mondadori, which governs the criteria for the significance of commercial, financial or professional relationships or additional remuneration that may compromise the independence requirement.

The Board also:

  • approved the composition of the board committees, in accordance with the principles set by the Corporate Governance Code, as follows:
  • Control, Risk and Sustainability Committee: Paola Elisabetta Galbiati (Chairman), Pietro Bracco and Cristina Rossello;
  • Remuneration and Appointments Committee: Elena Biffi (Chairman), Paola Elisabetta Galbiati and Cristina Rossello;
  • Related Party Committee: Riccardo Perotta (Chairman), Elena Biffi and Marina Rubini;
  • appointed Paola Elisabetta Galbiati as Lead Independent Director;
  • confirmed Alessandro Franzosi as Financial Reporting Manager.

The executive Directors are: Marina Berlusconi since the Chairman, while not having any specific management powers, partakes, together with the Chief Executive Officer, in the drafting of corporate strategies to be submitted to the approval of the Board of Directors; Antonio Porro (Chief Executive Officer); Alessandro Franzosi, who qualifies as an Executive Director given his directorships in the Company associated with his role as Administration, Finance and Control Manager.

The CVs of the members of the Board of Directors and the additional documentation required by current legislation are available on the website www.mondadorigroup.com, in the Governance section.

Based on the information available to the Company, to date, it appears that the Directors who hold interests in the share capital of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. are:

  • Pier Silvio Berlusconi no. 172,000 shares;
  • Alessandro Franzosi no. 212,680 shares;
  • Antonio Porro no. 248,439 shares.

APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF STATUTORY AUDITORS

The Shareholders’ Meeting also appointed the Board of Statutory Auditors for the three-year period 2024-2026, consisting of the following:

  • Sara Fornasiero as Chairperson (drawn from the minority list submitted by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors);
  • Ezio Maria Simonelli and Francesca Meneghel as Standing Auditors (drawn from the majority list submitted by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A.);
  • Annalisa Firmani and Emilio Gatto, as Alternate Auditors (drawn from the majority list submitted by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A.);
  • Mario Civetta, as Alternate Auditor (drawn from the minority list submitted by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors).

The majority list received 79.40% of the votes cast at the Meeting. The composition of the Board of Statutory Auditors complies with the provisions on gender equality set out in Article 148, paragraph 1-bis of the TUF. The CVs of the members of the Board of Statutory Auditors and the additional documentation required by current legislation are available on the website www.mondadorigroup.com, in the Governance section.

Based on the information available to the Company, to date, no member of the Board of Statutory Auditors holds any interest in the share capital of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A..

Based on the declarations made by the Chairman of the Board of Statutory Auditors and by Standing Auditors, and the information available to the Company, the Board also confirmed that the independence requirements set out in Article 148, third paragraph of the TUF and in the Corporate Governance Code were met by the members of the Board of Statutory Auditors.

Moreover, the Shareholders’ Meeting resolved on the following items on the agenda:

  • Report on remuneration policy and compensation paid

The Shareholders’ Meeting approved Section One of the Report on remuneration policy and compensation paid. The Shareholders’ Meeting also voted in favour of Section Two of the Report.

  • Renewal of the authorization to purchase and dispose of treasury shares

Following expiry of the term of the previous authorization approved on 27 April 2023, the Shareholders’ Meeting renewed the authorization to purchase and dispose of treasury shares with the aim of ensuring continued applicability of the legal provision to any buyback plans and, consequently, of seizing any investment and operational opportunities involving treasury shares. Below are the main elements of the Board of Directors’ proposal, which are consistent with those of the expired authorization.
Here below is the information provided, also with regard to the provisions of Article 132 of Legislative Decree 58/1998 and to the provisions of Article 144-bis of Issuer Regulation no. 11971/1999, on the authorizations issued by the Shareholders’ Meeting:

  • Motivations

The motivations underlying the request for the authorization to purchase and dispose treasury shares refer to the opportunity to attribute to the Board of Directors the power to:

  • use the treasury shares purchased or already in the Company portfolio as compensation for the acquisition of interests within the framework of the Company’s investments;
  • use the treasury shares purchased or already held in portfolio against the exercise of option rights, including conversion rights, deriving from financial instruments issued by the Company, its subsidiaries or third parties and to use the treasury shares for lending, exchange or transfer transactions or to support extraordinary transactions on the Company’s capital or financing transactions that imply the transfer or sale of treasury shares;
  • undertake any investments, directly or through intermediaries, including for the purpose of containing abnormal movements in share prices, stabilizing share trading and prices, supporting the liquidity of the share on the market, in order to foster the regular conduct of trading beyond normal fluctuations related to market performance, without prejudice in any case to compliance with applicable statutory provisions;
  • rely on investment or divestment opportunities, if considered strategic by the Board of Directors, also in relation to available liquidity;
  • dispose of treasury shares to service share-based incentive plans set up pursuant to Article 114-bis of the TUF, and plans for the free allocation of shares to employees or members of the governing bodies of the Company or to Shareholders.
  • Duration

The authorization to purchase treasury shares runs from the date of any resolution approving the proposal by the Shareholders’ Meeting, until the Shareholders’ Meeting called to approve the financial statements at 31 December 2024 and, in any case, for a period no more than 18 months after that date.
The authorization to dispose of treasury shares is requested for an unlimited period, given the absence of time limits pursuant to current regulations and the opportunity to allow the Board of Directors to make use of the maximum flexibility, also in terms of time, to carry out any disposal of shares.

  • Maximum number of purchasable treasury shares

The authorisation would allow the purchase, on one or more occasions and in one or more tranches, of a maximum number of ordinary shares with a nominal unitary value of € 0.26, which – considering the treasury shares already held by the Company and the shares that may possibly be acquired by subsidiaries – shall not exceed a total of 10% of the share capital.
Pursuant to article 2357(1) of the Italian Civil Code, the purchase transactions will be carried out within the limits of the distributable profits and available reserves resulting from the last regularly approved financial statements at the time of each potential purchase transaction. The authorisation would include the right to subsequently dispose of the treasury shares acquired, in whole or in part, on one or more occasions and even before having exhausted the maximum number of purchasable shares.

  • Criteria for purchasing treasury shares and indication of the minimum and maximum purchasing cap

Purchases would be made in accordance with articles 132 of the TUF, 144-bis(1)(b) and d-ter) of the Issuers’ Regulation, and thus:
(i) on regulated markets or multilateral trading systems, according to the operating criteria established in the organisation and management regulations of the same markets, which do not allow the direct matching of purchase trading proposals with predetermined sales trading proposals, as well as in compliance with any other legislation in force, including European ones;
(ii) by the methods established by the market practices permitted by Consob, pursuant to the combined provisions of article 180(1)(c) of the TUF and article 13 of Regulation (EU) no. 596 of 16 April 2014 (“Permitted Market Practices”).
Additionally, share purchase transactions may also be carried out in the manner envisaged in Article 3 of EU Delegated Regulation no. 2016/1052 in order to benefit, if the conditions are met, from the exemption under Article 5, paragraph 1, of EU Regulation no. 596/2014 on market abuse with regard to inside information and market manipulation.
The disposal of treasury shares may be carried out, on one or more occasions and even before having terminated the maximum number of purchasable treasury shares, either by selling them on regulated markets or according to other trading methods in compliance with the law, including EU law force and with the Admitted Market Practices, if applicable. The authorisation proposal provides that purchases are made at a unit price, compliant with any regulatory requirements, including European ones, or permitted market practices in force at the time, where applicable, without prejudice to the fact that the minimum and maximum purchase price will be set at a unit price no lower than the official stock market price of the Mondadori stock on the day prior to the day on which the purchase transaction is carried out, decreased by 20%, and no higher than the official stock market price on the day before the day on which the purchase transaction will be carried out, increased by 10%. In any event – except for any different price and volume determinations resulting from the application of the conditions set forth in the Admitted Market Practices – such price shall be identified in accordance with the trading conditions set forth in Delegated Regulation (EU) no. 1052 of 8 March 2016 and, specifically:

  • no shares may be purchased at a price higher than the higher between the price of the last independent trade and the price of the highest current independent bid on the trading venue where the purchase is carried out; and
  • in terms of volumes, daily purchase amounts will not exceed 25% of the daily average volume of Mondadori shares traded as recorded in the 20 trading days before the dates of purchase or in the month prior to the month of the disclosure required by Art. 2, paragraph 1, of Regulation (EU) no. 1052/2016;
  • in terms of consideration, sales transactions or other acts of disposition of treasury shares shall be carried out:
  • if executed in cash, at a price no lower than 10% of the reference price recorded on the MTA – Euronext Milan – organized and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A. in the trading session prior to each single transaction;
  • if executed as part of any extraordinary transactions in accordance with financial terms to be determined by the Board of Directors on the basis of the nature and characteristics of the transaction, also taking account of the market performance of Mondadori shares;
  • if executed to service the Performance Share Plans in compliance with the terms and conditions set out in the resolutions of the Shareholders’ Meeting that establish the Plans and the related regulations.

To date, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. holds a total of no. 1,277,802 treasury shares, equal to 0.488% of the share capital.
For further information on the proposed authorization for the purchase and disposal of treasury shares, reference should be made to the Directors’ Explanatory Report, published within the time limits and in the manner prescribed by applicable regulations.

  • 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan

The Shareholders’ Meeting, pursuant to Article 114-bis of Legislative Decree 58/1998 and in keeping with the introduction of performance share plans approved in the past for the medium/long-term remuneration of executive directors and key management personnel, approved the establishment of a Performance Share Plan for the three-year period 2024-2026 intended for the Chief Executive Officer, the CFO – Executive Director and a number of Managers of the Company who have an employment and/or directorship relationship with the Company or its subsidiaries at the date of allocation of the shares, in accordance with the conditions previously communicated to the market on 14 March 2024.
With the adoption of the Plan, the Company aims to encourage Management to improve medium to long-term performance, in terms of both industrial performance and growth in the value of the Company.
For a detailed description of the 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan, the recipients and the characteristics of the aforesaid Plan, please refer to the Information Document approved by the Board of Directors pursuant to Article 84-bis of the Issuers’ Regulation and the explanatory report, both published within the legal terms through the authorised storage mechanism 1Info and on the Company’s website www.gruppomondadori.it in the Governance/Shareholders’ Meeting section.

  • 2024 (MBO) short-term incentive plan

The Shareholders’ Meeting also resolved to adopt a Short-Term Incentive Plan (MBO) for the financial year 2024. The Plan, which is reserved for the same beneficiaries as the 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan, governs the determination, subject to the achievement of specific individual and Group performance objectives, of the annual Variable Remuneration (MBO) for the year 2024.
In particular, the Plan envisages a voluntary mechanism for the conversion into Mondadori shares of a percentage component equal to 15% or 30% of the Variable Remuneration itself, as well as the disbursement of an additional “bonus” component in shares, equal to the number of shares resulting from the conversion.
Any allocation of the total component in shares would take place at the end of a 24-month deferral period with respect to the MBO vesting date.
For a detailed description of the proposed resolution for the adoption of the MBO 2024 Short-Term Incentive Plan, the recipients and the characteristics of said Plan, please refer to the Information Document approved by the Board of Directors pursuant to Article 84-bis of the Issuers’ Regulation and the explanatory report, both published within the terms of the law on the Company’s website www.gruppomondadori.it in the Governance/Shareholders’ Meeting section and through the authorised storage mechanism 1Info.

  • Renewal of powers granted to the Board of Directors pursuant to articles 2443 and 2420-ter of the Italian Civil Code

In an extraordinary session, the Board of Directors resolved to adopt the resolutions referred to in articles 2443 and 2420 ter of the Italian Civil Code, relating to the renewal of the Board’s powers to increase the share capital and issue convertible bonds.
Specifically, the Shareholders’ Meeting resolved on:

  • the renewal of the proxies already granted to the Board of Directors by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of 17 April 2019 and terminating due to expiry of the related five-year term, which, pursuant to Articles 2443 and 2420-ter of the Italian Civil Code, grant the Board of Directors the power to increase the share capital, reserved as an option to those entitled thereto, by a maximum nominal amount of € 75,000,000 and to issue convertible bonds for a maximum nominal amount of € 250,000,000;
  • the renewal of the proxy already granted to the Board of Directors by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of 17 April 2019 and also terminating, granting the Board of Directors, for the same period of five years, the power to increase the share capital within the limit of 10% of the pre-existing share capital and in any case within the limit of a nominal amount of € 20,000,000, with the exclusion of option rights pursuant to Articles 2443 and 2441(4) of the Italian Civil Code.

The renewals are resolved under the same conditions of the terminating proxies unused by the Board and for a further period of five years corresponding to the maximum term allowed by the law. The renewal of proxies is motivated by the advisability of maintaining the general power of the Board of Directors to implement any capital transactions through faster and more streamlined procedures than the resolutions adopted by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting.

The minutes of today’s Shareholders’ Meeting will be made publicly available in the manner and within the time limits of law.

Mondadori Group: contract signed for the acquisition of 100% of Chelsea Green Publishing

This transaction consolidates the Group's development in English-speaking markets and strengthens Rizzoli International Publications Inc.'s commitment to diversifying its publishing portfolio through a publisher focused on sustainability issues

The Mondadori Group reports today that it has signed an agreement for the acquisition by the subsidiary Rizzoli International Publications Inc. of 100% of the share capital of Chelsea Green Publishing Company. Founded 40 years ago by Ian and Margo Baldwin, the publisher is based in Vermont (USA) and in the UK through its subsidiary Chelsea Green Publishing UK Ltd. Its editorial focus is sustainability – particularly green, health and wellness issues – and promoting cultural diversity.

The Mondadori Group already has a presence in the United States through its subsidiary Rizzoli International Publications Inc., a leading publisher of illustrated English-language books on Lifestyle and Interior Design, which has also owned the historic Rizzoli bookstore in New York for the past 60 years.

With the acquisition of Chelsea Green Publishing, the Mondadori Group is taking a further step on its international development journey in English-speaking markets, which recently began with the establishment of London-based Rizzoli UK.

“The strengthening of the Mondadori Group’s presence in the United States and the United Kingdom through the acquisition of Chelsea Green Publishing, and the launch of Rizzoli’s new UK branch, are further steps on our growth path outside the domestic trade market. I am therefore delighted to welcome Chelsea Green Publishing, with whom we share a vision of quality editorial content focused on issues related to sustainability and lifestyles that respect ecosystems and nature,” commented Mondadori Group CEO Antonio Porro.

Consideration for the transaction, which will be paid fully in cash on the closing date – expected by the end of the first half of 2024 – is set at $5 million (on a debt-and-cash free basis) and will be subject to adjustment according to the NFP on the date of completion of the acquisition. In the last approved financial statements (2022), the company reported consolidated revenues of USD 8.1 million and an operating income of USD 1.1 million.

As part of this acquisition, Margo Baldwin will assume the role of Publisher Emeritus of Chelsea Green Publishing, guaranteeing the publishing quality and continuity of the company with her extensive experience. Stefano Peccatori will assume the role of CEO and President, leading the international development and strategic integration, working with the Rizzoli International Publications Inc. and Chelsea Green Publishing teams.

Mondadori Group admitted to webnovel segment: a new frontier in the use of editorial content

The Mondadori Group announces that, through Mondadori Libri S.p.A., it has entered a start-up to develop the webnovel market in Europe.

The initiative, which involves an initial investment of € 1.5 million in 2024, and an additional € 1.5 million planned for 2025, stems from an agreement with Bookrepublic, an industrial partner with specific know-how and capable of supporting future operational growth. The company led by Marco Ferrario has been at the forefront of digital publishing in Italy for more than 10 years and has always been attentive to new literary trends.

The deal will come to fruition with the launch by the end of the year of a dedicated proprietary app – to be called Narae. Developed by an in-house team, initially with content in Italian and French, it will gradually expand its reach to encompass other European countries.

Designed to be read on a smartphone screen, webnovels are a form of serialised fiction of a highly innovative nature which, having started with great success in South Korea, has gained growing popularity and a solid fanbase in Japan and China as well. Content takes the form of series – primarily in the romance, fantasy, and crime genres – and is designed to originate and be enjoyed in other formats as well. Webnovels consist of a large number of short episodes, often more than a hundred, and, if successful, they can extend indefinitely.

After a recent launch in the United States and a successful debut in France, webnovels are now ready to conquer Europe, particularly following the global spread of Korean entertainment content in music, film, and comics.

«This investment reaffirms our Group’s willingness to look at what is most innovativein the international publishing environment. As it evolves, the world of webnovels is demonstrating creativity and the ability to feed other media as well, such as cinema, television series, and in many cases even book publishing itself» says Enrico Selva Coddè, CEO of Mondadori Libri.

«Webnovels are a very interesting and avant-garde model of digital publishing: they could be defined as the digital reinterpretation of serialised novels published in newspapers in the 1800s – says Marco Ferrario, CEO of Bookrepublic; and it is not surprising for it now to originate in an Asian country. The content is created specifically to be read on a mobile, borrowing techniques used in the production of video series and providing ways of accessing content that are inspired by gaming. Our challenge will be to find the route into Europe with this model», concludes Ferrario.

 

Bookrepublic was founded in 2010 by Marco Ferrario together with financial partners Gianluca Andena and Guido Paolo Gamucci (both former Permira partners), Marco Pittini and Guido Carissimo and has always been one of the leading players in the distribution and sale of ebooks and audiobooks in Italy. Over time, Bookrepublic has played a leading role in many digital publishing initiatives, including the organisation of IfBookThen, one of the most successful events in Europe on digital innovation in publishing, and the launch of digital-only brands such as 40K and emma books. In March 2024, the German group Bookwire, European leader in digital distribution, chose Bookrepublic as its Italian partner for its entry into this market.

Publication of list for appointments to the Board of Directors and the Board of Statutory Auditors

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. would like to inform you that the following documents are available at the company’s registered office, at the 1Info authorised storage mechanism (www.1info.it) and on the www.mondadorigroup.com website (Governance section):

  • the lists for appointments to the Board of Directors and the Board of Statutory Auditors filed by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A., owner of 139,355,950 shares corresponding to 53.299% of the share capital and 69.853% of the voting rights;
  • the lists for appointments to the Board of Directors and the Board of Statutory Auditors deposited by a group of shareholders consisting of asset management companies and institutional investors holding a total of 15,660,100 shares equal to 989% of the share capital.

The lists are accompanied by the documentation required by the Consob Issuers’ Regulation no. 11971/1999 and by the Company Bylaws.

The shareholders belonging to the grouping of asset management companies and institutional investors ha also filed – also pursuant to Consob Communication no. DEM/9017893 of 26 February 2009 – together with the lists, statements certifying the absence of any association and/or significant relations with shareholders who, also jointly, hold a controlling or relative majority investment, as set out in articles 147-ter, paragraph III, 148, paragraph II of the TUF and 144-quinquies of the Issuer Regulation.

Candidates to the Board of Directors

  • List submitted by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A.:
  1. Marina Berlusconi
  2. Antonio Porro
  3. Pier Silvio Berlusconi
  4. Alessandro Franzosi
  5. Danilo Pellegrino
  6. Elena Biffi (*)
  7. Francesco Currò
  8. Cristina Rossello
  9. Paola Elisabetta Galbiati (*)
  10. Marina Rubini (*)
  11. Riccardo Perotta (*)
  12. Lara Livolsi (*)
  • List submitted by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors:
  1. Pietro Bracco (*)
  2. Lucia Giancaspro (*)

(*Candidates declaring their eligibility as independent director

Candidates to the Board of Statutory Auditors

  • List submitted by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A.:

Standing Auditors

  1. Ezio Simonelli
  2. Francesca Meneghel
  3. Fabrizio Malandra

Substitute Auditors

  1. Annalisa Firmani
  2. Emilio Gatto
  3. Alessia Bastiani
  • List submitted by a grouping of shareholders formed of asset management companies and institutional investors:

Standing Auditors

  1. Sara Fornasiero

Substitute Auditors

  1. Mario Civetta

The Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting for the appointments to the Board of Directors and to the Board of Statutory Auditors is convened on 24 April 2024 (on 26 April in second call, if necessary). Also available at the registered office, at the 1Info authorised storage mechanism (www.1info.it) and on the www.mondadorigroup.com website (Governance section) are the proposed resolutions presented by the shareholder Fininvest S.p.A., together with the deposited lists, regarding the following items on the agenda of the Shareholders’ Meeting:

9. Appointment of the Board of Directors.
9.1Determination of the number of members.
9.2 Determinazione della durata in carica.
9.3 Determination of the remuneration.
10. Appointment of the Board of Statutory Auditors for the financial years 2024/2025/2026.
10.1 Determination of the remuneration for the members of the Board of Statutory Auditors.

Board of Directors approves results as at 31 December 2023

MONDADORI GROUP: 2023 EARNINGS UP STRONGLY ON 2022

  • Consolidated net revenues € 904.7 million, +0.2% on 2022 and +1.1% on a like-for-like basis
  • Adjusted EBITDA € 152.1 million, +11.5% on 2022. Overall, profitability stands at 16.8%, up by almost 2 percentage points on 2022 and in the upper part of the guidance communicated (16-17%)
  • Group net profit € 62.4 million, +20% on 31 December 2022
  • Solid cash generation confirmed with an Ordinary Cash Flow of € 68.7 million, up 15% compared to the 2022 figure and in the upper part of the guidance (€ 65-70 million)
  • Net financial position (no IFRS 16) € -86.1 million. Considering the effects of IFRS 16, the NFP is € -158.6 million, showing an NFP/Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 1.0x, perfectly in line with the target communicated and falling sharply from 1.3x at the end of 2022
  • The Group’s significant ability to self-finance its growth policy via external lines and to remunerate shareholders is confirmed
  • Proposed distribution of a dividend of € 0.12 per ordinary share (for a total of approximately € 31 million), +9% on 2022

OUTLOOK

  • Revenues expected to grow low single-digit in 2024, also thanks to the effects of the consolidation of Star Shop
  • Adjusted EBITDA expected to achieve mid single-digit growth, with margins around 17% thanks to targeted pricing policies and the further reduction in paper and printing costs
  • 2026: expected consolidated revenues, on a like-for-like basis, of around € 1 billion and a proportionally growing margin with consequent confirmation of profitability at around 17%
  • Significant cash generation capacity in the three-year period 2024-2026, with an expected annual Ordinary Cash Flow of no less than € 70 million
  • The Group’s significant cash generation will be allocated to both maximising the company’s value creation, through a continuous development strategy, and a growing shareholder remuneration policy: further significant increase of the Dividend Policy

Today, the meeting of the Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., chaired by Marina Berlusconi, reviewed and approved the draft Parent Company and Group consolidated financial statements at 31 December 2023 presented by CEO Antonio Porro.

“In the financial year just ended, the Mondadori Group continued to develop its core business, focused on strengthening its presence in book publishing as well as on promotion and distribution for third-party publishers. The Group achieved excellent consolidated earnings, significantly higher than the previous year. The Group’s current configuration, also in light of the economic and financial results achieved in 2023, allows us to predict further improvement for 2024 of results even with the same consolidation scope”, underlined Antonio Porro, CEO of the Mondadori Group.

PERFORMANCE AT 31 DECEMBER 2023

Consolidated revenues for 2023 amounted to € 904.7 million, a slight increase (+0.2%) on the € 903 million recorded in 2022. Net of the changes in consolidation scope between the two financial years, the organic growth in revenues rose to 1.1%.

The Adjusted EBITDA for 2023 of € 152.1 million (compared to € 136.3 million in 2022) shows an increase of almost € 16 million (+11.5% and consistent with the guidance, which estimated a high single/low double-digit increase) to which all business areas contribute.

Netting the results for the two periods in question of the reliefs and contributions respectively paid, the growth recorded by Group’s Adjusted EBITDA would exceed € 19 million (+14.2%). Two thirds of this result is derived from the operating performance of the original consolidation scope (thanks, in particular, to the Education and Retail Books areas) and the remaining part is mainly attributable to the consolidation of the new companies acquired in the Trade Books area.

Overall, profitability stood at 16.8%, up by almost 2 percentage points from around 15% in the 2022 financial year and in the upper part of the target range previously communicated to the market.

The Group EBITDA for the 2023 financial year was € 148.9 million, compared to € 130.7 million in 2022, highlighting an € 18.2 million improvement (+13.9%) attributable to the favourable trend in some operating components and the recognition in the 2023 financial year, in the Media area, of the net capital gain resulting from the sale of the Grazia and Icon magazines (and the related international network).

The 2023 EBIT was positive in the amount of € 84.2 million, showing an improvement of € 11.5 million compared to 2022 (+15.8%). Neutralising the extraordinary items and the impacts of the PPA and impairment processes, the Adjusted EBIT would stand at € 102 million, up by approximately € 12 million (+13.1%) compared to the previous year.

Financial charges recorded an overall increase of over € 2 million, with approximately € 0.5 million resulting from the higher cost of debt – despite a reduction in average exposure – and the remaining € 1.6 million resulting from higher costs arising from the accounting effects of IFRS 16 which, in the 2022 financial year, had allowed non-recurring income (approximately € 1.4 million) linked to the early closure of the old rental contract for the Segrate headquarters to be recognised.

Consolidated result before tax were positive at € 80.5 million, up by about € 14 million (+20.4%) from € 66.9 million in 2022. Also contributing to this performance was an improvement of over € 4 million in the earnings of associates, resulting in particular from: the updated fair value measurement of the investments in A.L.I. and Adgage for a total of approximately € 2 million; the recognition of a capital gain – net of the negative result for the first four months – of € 0.4 million relating to the sale in April 2023 of the residual investment in SEE, the publishing company of Il Giornale, which reported a loss of approximately € 1.8 million in the previous year; the absence of the write-down of the equity investment in Attica, which had a € 1.7 million impact on the 2022 financial year.

The Mondadori Group’s net profit for the year to 31 December 2023, after minority interests, amounted to € 62.4 million, a significant improvement of about 20%, in line with expectations and despite the impairment, equivalent to € 10.3 million, compared to € 52.1 million in 2022. The net profit for 2023 triples the value of the 2019 financial year.

Tax costs in the period totalled € 17.9 million versus € 15.3 million in 2022 due to the higher pre-tax result.

Adjusted net profit for the 2023 financial year, neutralising all non-recurring items previously mentioned, would amount to about € 71 million, up by around 11% on the previous year (€ 63.9 million).

The Net Financial Position excluding IFRS 16 as of 31 December 2023 was € -86.1 million (net debt), an improvement of € 20 million compared to € -106 million in 2022, due to significant cash generation by the business and despite the dividend distribution cash-out. In the financial year 2023, the Group distributed dividends totalling approximately € 29 million, equivalent to a pay-out of 55% of the 2022 net profit.

The IFRS 16 Net Financial Position as of 31 December 2023 amounted to € -158.6 million (net debt), from € -177.4 million in 2022, due to an IFRS 16 debt component of € -72.5 million. The Adjusted NFP/EBITDA ratio is 1.0x, exactly in line with the target communicated to the market and down from 1.3x at the end of 2022.

At € 68.7 million, cash flow from ordinary activities (after cash-outs due to financial expenses and taxes) for the financial year 2023 is 15.1% higher than the figure for 2022 and is at the high end of the guidance (EUR 65-70 million).

As of 31 December 2023, the extraordinary cash flow was negative by € 15.3 million, mainly due to net cash-outs related to merger & acquisition activities of around € 5 million and restructuring costs of around € 5 million.

Free Cash Flow as of 31 December 2023 was positive at € 53.5 million and confirms the Group’s ability to finance its inorganic growth policy and the distribution of significant dividends to shareholders.

As of 31 December 2023, the Mondadori Group employed 1,945 people, an increase of 2.4% compared to the 1,900 employed at 31 December 2022 (+45 people).

PERFORMANCE OF BUSINESS AREAS

Trade BOOKS AREA

Following the consolidation phase in 2022, in 2023 the book market showed further growth in value of 3.4% and a substantial stability in volume. In the fourth quarter, the value increased by 5.7% thanks to the excellent earnings recorded during the Christmas season.

In this context, the Mondadori Group’s publishing houses grew by 3.7% across 2023, outperforming the market of reference – particularly thanks to the excellent earnings achieved in the first and fourth quarters from the publication of titles such as Spare – Il minore (“Spare”). by Prince Harry, Le armi della luce (“The Weapons of Light”) by Ken Follett, published by Mondadori, and La vita intima by Nicolò Ammaniti, published by Einaudi -, and consolidate their leadership nationally with a market share of 27.6% at the end of 2023.

Revenues for 2023 amounted to € 374.3 million, having grown by around 10.4% compared to the previous year, also due to the consolidation of the recently acquired companies (A.L.I. and Star Comics).

Adjusted EBITDA was € 59.2 million: net of the reliefs relating to Electa’s museum activities, amounting to € 6.4 million, from which the 2022 financial year had benefited, the area recorded an increase in its margin of around 22% (+ € 10.5 million), largely attributable to the contribution of the new companies consolidated from 2023, despite the negative impact of the higher cost of paper compared to the previous period. The profitability achieved by the Trade Books area was 15.8% in 2023, showing improvement on 2022, excluding the contribution of the reliefs (14.4%).

Education BOOKS AREA

The Schools market (primary and secondary schools) in Italy in 2023 is estimated to have grown by around 3.5% on the previous year to approximately € 618 million.

In the 2023 financial year, the Mondadori Group’s publishing houses confirmed their leadership at national level, with a 32% share of the set texts market, substantially stable compared to 2022, due to growth in the secondary school segment (middle and high schools) and a decline in primary schools.

Revenues in the area were € 237.5 million (€ 237.3 million in 2022), stable compared to the previous year. In particular, lower and upper secondary school revenues, which account for over 80% of the area’s revenues, grew by around 5%, versus a fall in primary school revenues (-6.5% compared to 2022). In addition to the above, there was a decline of approximately 6% in the distribution and sale of third-party products by Rizzoli Education (dedicated to the teaching of foreign languages) and a contraction in sales of non-set text products.

The area’s Adjusted EBITDA in 2023 was € 67.7 million, a distinct improvement on the € 63.5 million recorded in 2022 (+6.7%), thanks to the contribution of all publishing houses and the full completion of the synergies resulting from the integration of D Scuola.

The 28.5% profitability in 2023 was higher than that recorded in 2022 (26.7%) thanks to the lower incidence of industrial costs – as a result of the lower cost of paper purchases, down by around € 4 million – and promotional costs.

RETAIL AREA

In a context of growth in the Italian market, there was an improvement in the physical channel (+4.3%) and a recovery in the online channel, which saw a gradual recovery in the fourth quarter, closing the year with an increase of 2%.

In 2023, Mondadori Retail grew by 5.6%, outperforming the market of reference for the third consecutive year. Thanks to this result, which was due to the excellent performance of physical shops, Mondadori Retail’s market share grew to 12.8% (+0.3% compared with 31 December 2022) of the total market and was close to 20% of the physical market. The ongoing development and renovation of existing stores and the focus on the core business of books enabled the Mondadori bookshop network to consolidate its role in the market.

The transformation process launched over the past years has made for an improvement in operating and management performance, as shown in the income statement for 2023, which highlights strong growth in revenue and margins of the Retail area.

Revenues amounted to € 199.5 million, up 5.4% (+ € 10.3 million) on the previous year, the highest value recorded since the pre-pandemic year 2019.

An analysis of sales by channel shows further growth in revenues from direct bookshops (+10.3% compared with the previous year), franchised bookshops (+4.5% compared with 2022) and the online channel (+3.1% compared with the previous year).

Books, the Mondadori Group’s core business, provided the greatest revenues (over 80% of the total), having grown overall by 6.1% compared with 2022, driven by the excellent performance of physical stores; the non-book turnover recorded a positive trend (+14.4% compared with 2022), thanks to growth in the impulse sector (stationery and gifts).

The area shows a positive Adjusted EBITDA of € 14 million, up by more than 50% compared to 2022 (+ € 4.9 million), confirming a gradual improvement in performance (in 2019, Adjusted EBITDA was € 5 million).

It is important to note that the area’s 2023 income statement returned to profit after more than a decade, closing with a positive net profit of € 1.5 million, an improvement of € 3 million compared to the loss of € -1.4 million in 2022.

MEDIA AREA

In 2023, the Mondadori Group confirmed its position as Italy’s leading multimedia publisher: in print, with 13 magazines and 9 million readers and a market share (in terms of circulation) of 20.3%, slightly up – on a like-for-like portfolio of titles – compared with December 2022 (19.8%); online, with 12 brands and an average of around 28 million unique users/month; in social media, with more than 110 profiles and a fanbase of around 103 million as of 31 December 2023.

In the financial year 2023, revenues in the Media area amounted to € 141 million, down by 20.6% compared to the previous year. On a like-for-like basis, this contraction was reduced to 2.7% by the positive performance achieved in the fourth quarter of the year (+7% approximately) and highlights different trends in the two components: digital and print.

Digital activities, which account for around 40% of total turnover for the area, recorded an increase in advertising revenues of around 23%, mainly due to the positive performance of the MarTech segment; print activities fell by 14.8%, mainly due to the decline in add-on sales for the entire year caused by the decision to reduce releases in low-margin products such as music and home video.

Adjusted EBITDA amounted to € 16.4 million, about +16% year-on-year, attributable to both business segments. The EBITDA margin recorded an increase of almost 4 percentage points, from 7.9% to 11.7%. Specifically: in the print area, the increase was due to the rationalisation of the portfolio of activities with more stable profitability, the constant attention being paid to the development and rationalisation of costs, as well as the recognition of a tax credit to partially offset the costs incurred by the publisher for magazine distribution activities; in the digital area, adjusted EBITDA increased by approximately € 1 million compared to the previous year, thanks to higher revenues and the contribution of new initiatives, despite the earnings from the digital activities of the magazines sold being removed from the consolidation scope.

OUTLOOK FOR THE YEAR

The Group’s current configuration, economic performance and cash generation capacity, also demonstrated in 2023, point to a further improvement in results for 2024, even on a like-for-like basis.

From a strategic point of view, the Group intends to continue the process of strengthening its core business in the Trade Books area, both in publishing, by emphasising the identity and specialisation of the various publishing houses, and by continuing the process of vertical integration in the various stages of the book chain, particularly in the comics segment, by taking full advantage of the distribution synergies arising from the acquisition of Star Shop.

In the Education Books area, it will continue to focus on the most profitable segments of the textbook market and consolidating its domestic leadership, strengthening and renewing its editorial offer and taking full advantage of the digital convergence process (through the development of a new single digital platform for all three publishing houses).

In the Retail area, the Mondadori Group will continue with the selective development of its network of shops, both direct – by opening around ten new outlets – and franchised, as well as with improving the sales surface area, maximising the efficiency of the network and enriching its range of publications, which is essential both to increase the profitability of the area and to improve its effectiveness in conveying the Group’s editorial offer to the market.

In the Media area, the Mondadori Group will at the same time continue to strengthen its competitive positioning by developing its skills and offer in the digital area, in particular through initiatives in the content creator, Food and MarTech segments.

Income Statement

The following are the Group’s economic and financial targets for the financial year 2024, based on a consolidation scope that includes only completed extraordinary transactions (Star Shop):

  • low single-digit revenue growth;
  • mid single-digit growth in the Adjusted EBITDA, with margins expected to remain stable at around 17%, thanks to targeted pricing policies and the further reduction of paper and printing costs.

At the end of the next three-year period, i.e. in the financial year 2026, with the consolidation scope described above and therefore with the only organic growth, the Group estimates that it will be able to achieve consolidated revenues in the region of € 1 billion and a proportional growth in margins that will enable it to confirm profitability approximately at 17%.

Cash Flow and Net Financial Position

In the three-year period 2024-2026, the Group is expected to confirm the significant cash generation capacity shown in 2023 and therefore cash flow from ordinary operations of no less than € 70 million.

DIVIDEND POLICY

The Group’s significant cash generation over the next three years will be allocated to maximising the company’s value creation, through an active investment policy in its core and adjacent businesses aimed at seizing opportunities to strengthen its leadership, expand geographically and/or expand its presence within the book value chain. This development strategy will be accompanied by an increasing shareholder remuneration policy, through a more consistent Dividend Policy that provides for, each year of the three-year-period, the distribution of 50% of the Ordinary Cash Flow per share (from the previous 40%) or the Dividend per Share of the previous year increased by 10%, whichever is the greater.

Each year, the Board of Directors, when proposing the distribution to the Shareholders’ Meeting, will take account of the general macroeconomic scenario, as well as the expected cash flows and the Group’s equity and financial structure.

PERFORMANCE OF ARNOLDO MONDADORI EDITORE S.P.A.

The Parent Company’s income statement at 31 December 2023 shows the same profit as in the consolidated financial statements of € 62.4 million (€ 52.1 million in 2022), due to the fact that the Company has chosen to use the equity method to measure its investments in the separate financial statements.

Revenues, which consist of the costs of central structures charged back to the subsidiaries, amounting to € 43.1 million, increased by about 3% compared to the previous year, due to higher charges (related to IT services and occupied space) resulting from the expansion of the Group’s consolidation scope and the respective offices.

Adjusted EBITDA in 2023 was € -5.6 million, essentially stable compared to 2022 (€ -5.7 million in 2022).

Reported EBITDA for 2023 was € -7.5 million, down from 2022 (€ -6.7 million), mainly due to higher allocations related to restructuring costs.

DIVIDEND DISTRIBUTION PROPOSAL OF € 0.12 PER ORDINARY SHARE

Based on the results of the 2023 financial year, the Board of Directors will submit a proposal to the next Shareholders’ Meeting, convened on 24 April 2024, for the distribution of a dividend per share of € 0.12, gross of withholding taxes, for each ordinary share (net of treasury shares) outstanding at the record date.
The total dividend amounted to approximately € 31 million, up by 9% compared to the previous year: this amount corresponds to a pay-out of 50% of the net profit for 2023 and a dividend yield of almost 6% (as of 31 December 2023). The amount will be paid by drawing on the distributable portion of the extraordinary reserve (included in the equity item “Other reserves profit/loss carried forward”).
In compliance with the provisions of the “Regulations for markets organised and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A.” and as already announced, the dividend will be paid in two equal tranches:

  • unit amount of € 0.06 for each ordinary share (net of treasury shares) outstanding at the record date stated below, from 22 May 2024 (payment date), with ex-dividend date no. 23 on 20 May 2024 (ex date) and with the date of entitlement to payment of the dividend, pursuant to Article 83-terdecies of the TUF (record date), on 21 May 2024;
  • unit amount of € 0.06 for each ordinary share (net of treasury shares) outstanding on the record date stated below, from 20 November 2024 (payment date), with ex-dividend date no. 24 on 18 November 2024 (ex date) and with the date of entitlement to payment of the dividend, pursuant to Article 83-terdecies of the TUF (record date), on 19 November 2024.

SIGNIFICANT EVENTS AFTER YEAR-END 2023

On 1 February 2024, through its subsidiary Mondadori Libri S.p.A., the Mondadori Group finalised the acquisition of 51% of the share capital of Star Shop Distribuzione S.r.l., which operates in the comic book and gadget segment and is particularly active in the distribution of third-party publishers in the comic book shop channel and in the management of sales outlets – direct and affiliated – in the same segment. As communicated to the market on 29 June 2023, following authorisation by the Italian Antitrust Authority pursuant to Law 287/1990 – as previously announced on 3 November 2023 -, the transaction is effective from 1 February 2024, as of which Mondadori will also proceed with the line-by-line consolidation of the company.

PROPOSED RENEWAL OF THE AUTHORIZATION TO PURCHASE AND DISPOSE OF TREASURY SHARES

Following expiry of the previous authorization resolved upon by the Shareholders’ Meeting on 27 April 2023, with the approval of the financial statements at 31 December 2023, the Board of Directors will propose to the next Shareholders’ Meeting, called for 24 April 2024, the renewal of the authorization to purchase and dispose of treasury shares with the aim of retaining the applicability of law provisions in the matter of any additional buyback plans and, consequently, of seizing any investment and operational opportunities involving treasury shares.
Below are the main elements of the Board of Directors’ proposal, which are consistent with those of the expired authorization:

  • Motivations

The motivations underlying the request for the authorization to purchase and sell treasury shares refer to the opportunity to attribute to the Board of Directors the power to:

  • use the Treasury Shares purchased or already in the Company portfolio as compensation for the acquisition of interests within the framework of the Company’s investments;
  • use the treasury shares purchased or already held in portfolio against the exercise of option rights, including conversion rights, deriving from financial instruments issued by the Company, its subsidiaries or third parties and to use the treasury shares for lending, exchange or transfer transactions or to support extraordinary transactions on the Company’s capital or financing transactions that imply the transfer or sale of treasury shares;
  • undertake any investments, directly or through intermediaries, including for the purpose of containing abnormal movements in share prices, stabilizing share trading and prices, supporting the liquidity of the share on the market, in order to foster the regular conduct of trading beyond normal fluctuations related to market performance, without prejudice in any case to compliance with applicable statutory provisions;
  • rely on investment or divestment opportunities, if considered strategic by the Board of Directors, also in relation to available liquidity;
  • dispose of treasury shares to service share-based incentive plans set up pursuant to Article 114-bis of the TUF, and plans for the free allocation of shares to employees or members of the governing bodies of the Company or to Shareholders.
  • Duration

The authorization to purchase treasury shares runs from the date of any resolution approving the proposal by the Shareholders’ Meeting, until the Shareholders’ Meeting called to approve the financial statements at 31 December 2024 and, in any case, for a period no more than 18 months after that date. The authorization to dispose of treasury shares is requested for an unlimited period, given the absence of time limits pursuant to current regulations and the opportunity to allow the Board of Directors to make use of the maximum flexibility, also in terms of time, to carry out any disposal of shares.

  • Maximum number of purchasable treasury shares

The authorisation would allow the purchase, on one or more occasions and in one or more tranches, of a maximum number of ordinary shares with a nominal unitary value of € 0.26, which – considering the treasury shares already held by the Company and the shares that may possibly be acquired by subsidiaries – shall not exceed a total of 10% of the share capital.
Pursuant to article 2357(1) of the Italian Civil Code, the purchase transactions will be carried out within the limits of the distributable profits and available reserves resulting from the last regularly approved financial statements at the time of each potential purchase transaction. The authorisation would include the right to subsequently dispose of the treasury shares acquired, in whole or in part, on one or more occasions and even before having exhausted the maximum number of purchasable shares.

  • Criteria for purchasing treasury shares and indication of the minimum and maximum purchasing cap

Purchases would be made in accordance with articles 132 of the TUF, 144-bis(1)(b) and d-ter) of the Issuers’ Regulation, and thus:
(i) on regulated markets or multilateral trading systems, according to the operating criteria established in the organisation and management regulations of the same markets, which do not allow the direct matching of purchase trading proposals with predetermined sales trading proposals, as well as in compliance with any other legislation in force, including European ones.
(ii) by the methods established by the market practices permitted by Consob, pursuant to the combined provisions of article 180(1)(c) of the TUF and article 13 of Regulation (EU) no. 596 of 16 April 2014 (“Permitted Market Practices”).
Additionally, share purchase transactions may also be carried out in the manner envisaged in Article 3 of EU Delegated Regulation no. 2016/1052 in order to benefit, if the conditions are met, from the exemption under Article 5, paragraph 1, of EU Regulation no. 596/2014 on market abuse with regard to inside information and market manipulation.
The disposal of treasury shares may be made, on one or more occasions and even before having terminated the maximum number of purchasable treasury shares, either by selling them on regulated markets or according to other trading methods in compliance with the law, including EU law, in force and with the Admitted Market Practices, if applicable. The authorisation proposal provides that purchases are made at a unit price, compliant with any regulatory requirements, including European ones, or permitted market practices in force at the time, where applicable, without prejudice to the fact that the minimum and maximum purchase price will be set at a unit price no lower than the official stock market price of the Mondadori stock on the day prior to the day on which the purchase transaction is carried out, decreased by 20%, and no higher than the official stock market price on the day before the day on which the purchase transaction will be carried out, increased by 10%. In any event – except for any different price and volume determinations resulting from the application of the conditions set forth in the Admitted Market Practices – such price shall be identified in accordance with the trading conditions set forth in Delegated Regulation (EU) no. 1052 of 8 March 2016 and, specifically:

  • no shares may be purchased at a price higher than the higher between the price of the last independent trade and the price of the highest current independent bid on the trading venue where the purchase is carried out; and
  • in terms of volumes, daily purchase amounts will not exceed 25% of the daily average volume of Mondadori shares traded as recorded in the 20 trading days before the dates of purchase or in the month prior to the month of the disclosure required by Art. 2, paragraph 1, of Regulation (EU) no. 1052/2016.
  • In terms of consideration, sales transactions or other acts of disposition of treasury shares shall be carried out:
  • if executed in cash, at a price no lower than 10% of the reference price recorded on the MTA – Euronext Milan – organized and managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A. in the trading session prior to each single transaction;
  • if executed as part of any extraordinary transactions in accordance with financial terms to be determined by the Board of Directors on the basis of the nature and characteristics of the transaction, also taking account of the market performance of Mondadori shares;
  • if executed to service the Performance Share Plans in compliance with the terms and conditions set out in the resolutions of the Shareholders’ Meeting that establish the Plans and the related regulations.

To date, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. holds a total of no. 1,277,802 treasury shares, equal to 0.488% of the share capital.

For further information on the proposed authorization for the purchase and disposal of treasury shares, reference should be made to the Directors’ Explanatory Report, which will be published within the time limits and in the manner prescribed by applicable regulations.

GRANTING OF SHARES UNDER THE 2021-2023 PERFORMANCE SHARE PLAN: INFORMATION PURSUANT TO ART. 84-BIS, PARAGRAPH 5 CONSOB REGULATION NO. 11971/1999

The Board of Directors, based on the final assessment of the achievement of the Performance Targets underlying the Plan, and having heard the Remuneration and Appointments Committee, resolved to allocate a total of no. 729,331 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. shares to a total of 13 beneficiaries, implementing the provisions of the “2021-2023 Performance Share Plan” adopted by the Shareholders’ Meeting on 27 April 2021 (the “2021-2023 Plan”).

Mention should be made that the 2021-2023 Plan takes the form of a share granting plan and grants its beneficiaries the right to receive, free of charge, shares in the Company held as treasury shares provided that, at the end of a reference period of three financial years, the performance targets set in the same Plan have been achieved.

The beneficiaries of the 2021-2023 Plan are the Chief Executive Officer, the CFO and 11 managers identified by name by the Chief Executive Officer, as delegated by the Board of Directors.

The characteristics of the Plan are explained in detail in the Directors’ Report to the Shareholders’ Meeting of 27 April 2021 and in the information document drawn up pursuant to article 84-bis of CONSOB Regulation no. 11971/1999 available at www.gruppomondadori.it, Governance section, to which reference should be made.

Attached is the information required by Schedule 7 of Annex 3A to CONSOB Regulation no. 11971/1999 to account for the allocation of shares in the context of the 2021-2023 Performance Plan.

PROPOSED ADOPTION OF A PERFORMANCE SHARE PLAN COVERING THE THREE-YEAR PERIOD 2024-2026

The Board resolved, on a proposal from the Remuneration and Appointments Committee, and continuing to apply the performance share instrument for the medium-long term remuneration of executive directors and strategic executives, as per Legislative Decree 58 of 24 February 1998, art. 114-bis, to submit for approval by the Shareholders’ Meeting, convened for 24 April 2024, the establishment of a Performance Share Plan for the three-year period 2024-2026, reserved for the Chief Executive Officer, the CFO – Executive Director and a number of Company Managers who have an employment and/or directorship relationship with the Company or with its subsidiaries on the granting date of the shares.
With the adoption of the Plan, the Company aims to encourage Management to improve medium to long-term performance, in terms of both industrial performance and growth in the value of the Company.
The Plan envisages the assignment to the beneficiaries of rights to the free allocation of company shares, subject to the achievement of specific performance targets set and measured at the end of the three-year performance period.
These targets are structured to include both shareholder remuneration indicators and management indicators functional to raising the share value, ensuring maximum alignment of Management remuneration and the creation of value for the Company, as well as indicators of a non-operating/financial nature linked to ESG issues.
For details on the proposed adoption of the 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan, the beneficiaries and the characteristics of said Plan, reference should be made to the Information Document approved by the Board of Directors, pursuant to Article 84-bis and annex 3A of the Issuer Regulation, and to the Explanatory Report, which will be published within the time limits and in the manner prescribed by applicable regulations.

PROPOSAL TO THE SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETING TO ADOPT A SHORT-TERM INCENTIVE PLAN (MBO) 2024

On a proposal from the Remuneration and Appointments Committee, the Board resolved to submit the adoption of a Short Term Incentive Plan (MBO) for the year 2024 to the Ordinary Shareholders’ Meeting for approval, pursuant to Article 114-bis of Legislative Decree no. 58 of 24 February 1998. The Plan, which is reserved for the same beneficiaries as the 2024-2026 Performance Share Plan, governs the determination, subject to the achievement of specific individual and Group performance objectives, of the annual Variable Remuneration (MBO) for the year 2024. In particular, the Plan envisages a voluntary mechanism for the conversion into Mondadori shares of a percentage component equal to 15% or 30% of the Variable Remuneration itself, as well as the disbursement of an additional “bonus” component in shares, equal to the number of shares resulting from the conversion.

Any allocation of the total component in shares would take place at the end of a 24-month deferral period with respect to the MBO vesting date.

For details on the proposed adoption of the 2024 Short-term Incentive Plan (MBO), the beneficiaries and the characteristics of said Plan, reference should be made to the Information Document approved by the Board of Directors, pursuant to Article 84-bis and annex 3A of the Issuer Regulation, and to the Explanatory Report, which will be published within the time limits and in the manner prescribed by applicable regulations.

PROPOSAL TO RENEW THE POWERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS PURSUANT TO ARTICLES 2443 AND 2420-TER OF THE ITALIAN CIVIL CODE

The Board of Directors will propose the Shareholders’ Meeting, called on 24 April 2024, also in extraordinary session, to adopt the resolutions referred to in articles 2443 and 2420 ter of the Italian Civil Code, relating to the renewal of the Board’s powers to increase the share capital and issue convertible bonds.
Specifically, the Board will propose to the Shareholders’ Meeting:

– the renewal of the proxies already granted to the Board of Directors by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of 17 April 2019 and terminating due to expiry of the related five-year term, which, pursuant to Articles 2443 and 2420-ter of the Italian Civil Code, grant the Board of Directors the power to increase the share capital, reserved as an option to those entitled thereto, by a maximum nominal amount of € 75,000,000 and to issue convertible bonds for a maximum nominal amount of € 250,000,000.

– the renewal of the proxy already granted to the Board of Directors by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting of 17 April 2019 and also terminating, granting the Board of Directors, for the same period of five years, the power to increase the share capital within the limit of 10% of the pre-existing share capital and in any case within the limit of a nominal amount of € 20,000,000, with the exclusion of option rights pursuant to Articles 2443 and 2441(4) of the Italian Civil Code.

The renewals are proposed under the same conditions of the terminating proxies unused by the Board and for a further period of five years corresponding to the maximum term allowed by the law.

The proposals for the renewal of proxies are motivated by the advisability of maintaining the general power of the Board of Directors to implement any capital transactions through faster and more streamlined procedures than the resolutions adopted by the Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting.

CONSOLIDATED NON-FINANCIAL STATEMENT PURSUANT TO LEGISLATIVE DECREE 254/2016

Under Legislative Decree 254/2016, the Board of Directors’ 2023 Report on Operations of the Mondadori Group is also composed of the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement (NFS), a qualitative-quantitative description of the non-financial performance of the Company, associated with environmental, social, and staff-related issues, as well as those regarding respect for human rights, and the fight against corruption and bribery, which are relevant given the activities and characteristics of the Company.

The NFS was prepared in accordance with GRI Standards: In accordance option, and includes benchmark KPIs related to GRI G4 “Media Sector Disclosure”.
With regard to 2023, the Mondadori Group has updated its materiality analysis, consistent with the principles set out by the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) and the reporting scopes laid down by Legislative Decree 254/2016.
In 2023, stakeholder engagement was pursued through the involvement of employees, teachers, bookshop customers, suppliers and financial analysts and investors, with more than 4,500 responses to the engagement questionnaire.

The document also includes the references required by Regulation (EU) 2020/852 related to the introduction of the European Taxonomy.

SUSTAINABILITY PLAN

Actions and initiatives in the ESG area are highlighted as part of the reporting activity. In 2023, constant monitoring of the goals set in the Sustainability Plan was carried out, which made it possible to provide a timely image of the degree to which they were achieved and to identify new future actions for the 2024-2026 Plan.
Below are the objectives achieved and reported for 2023.

Social
  1. Preparation of the documentation for the Gender Equality Certification (UNI PDR 125/2022), with Audit scheduled for 2024.
  2. Development and implementation of a training plan specifically for D&I with half-yearly seminars for all Mondadori Group people.
  3. Launch of the “Care” project for all Group employees and families, with particular focus on the “Parenthood” project to promote more inclusive models of access to maternity/paternity leave, eliminate existing biases and facilitate the return to work, enhancing acquired skills.
  4. Review of internal procedures governing selection with the introduction of blind CVs.
  5. Review of the internal procedures governing recruitment and career development, with particular attention to D&I matters.
  6. Extension of training in digitalisation/new forms of work to all Group employees.
  7. Implementation of a training plan accessible to all Group personnel regarding sustainability issues.
  8. Establishment of a new Group Charter of Values.
  9. Extension to 100% of the school offer of contents/insights relating to Sustainability, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, diversity, equity and inclusion and civic education.
  10. Expansion of ESG training activities for the Group’s school publications departments and for teachers.
  11. A growing number of initiatives/services to promote reading.
Governance
  1. Setting and measurement of quantitative and measurable ESG-related LTI objectives for top management (Impact Inclusion Index in the 2023-2025 Performance Share Plan).
  2. Strengthening of the set of procedures and coverage of the areas of Privacy, Information Management and Cyber Security.
  3. Strengthening of the programmes aiming to protect intellectual property/copyright.
  4. Strengthening of stakeholder engagement activities through the gradual expansion of engagement initiatives.
Environment
  1. Extension of the electricity supply from renewable sources to sites (Segrate) and stores (Mondadori Duomo and Turin).
  2. Energy efficiency actions through improved management of electrical and mechanical systems at the Segrate site.
  3. Energy efficiency actions as part of direct book store renovation/opening initiatives and obtaining LEED certification (gold) for Mondadori Duomo.
  4. Finalisation of the “Book environmental footprint” project study: Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) study for measuring environmental impacts and establishing data-based objectives for reducing atmospheric emissions and achieving continuous improvement along the entire value chain.
  5. Maintenance of the commitment to purchase ≈100% of paper from certified PEFC/FSC sources for Mondadori Group products with extension to newly acquired companies.
  6. Extension to 100% of the School proposition of insights and fact sheets dedicated to environmental culture of the entire school offer and promotion of such content in the Trade proposition.

No legal action was initiated or concluded against the Group or its employees for cases of corruption during the year, nor were any reports made within the whistleblowing system.

The results for the year ended 31 December 2023, approved on today’s date by the Board of Directors, will be presented by the Mondadori Group Management to the financial community at a presentation scheduled for 3:30 p.m. today in person and via webcast. The corresponding documentation will be available on 1Info (www.1info.it), at www.borsaitaliana.it and at www.gruppomondadori.it (Investors section). Journalists will be able to follow the proceedings of the presentation via webcast, by dialling +39 02 802 09 27 and via web https://www.c-meeting.com/web3/join/MKRA9NDNUBPJNA.

The Financial Reporting Manager – Alessandro Franzosi – hereby declares, pursuant to Article 154 bis, paragraph 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 complete pdf):

  1. Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
  2. Consolidated Income Statement
  3. Consolidated income statement – fourth quarter
  4. Group cash flow
  5. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. Statements of financial position
  6. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. income statement
  7. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. statement of cash flows
  8. Glossary of terms and alternative performance measures used
  9. Information pursuant to Schedule 7 of Annex 3a to CONSOB Regulation no. 11971/1999.

Mondadori Group: agreement signed for the sale of the investment in Mediamond S.p.a. to Publitalia ‘80 S.p.a.

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. has announced today’s signing of the contract of sale of the entire stake in Mediamond S.p.A. – advertising sales company – equal to 50% of the share capital and held by its subsidiary Direct Channel S.p.A., to Publitalia ‘80 S.p.A. The transaction will take effect from 1 January 2024 and will allow Publitalia ‘80 S.p.A., which already holds 50% of Mediamond S.p.A., to increase its stake to 100%.

The transaction price was defined on the basis of the pro-rata value of equity as at 31/12/2023, expected to amount to € 1.4 million and corresponding to the book value of the interest, with consequent neutral accounting effects on the Mondadori Group’s consolidated result.

The sale is consistent with the strategy already announced by the Mondadori Group to focus on the sector of books and a gradual easing off of its presence in business areas that are no longer central and, in particular, sectors heavily associated with advertising revenue.

In the context of the transaction – pursuant to the regulation approved with Consob Resolution no. 17221 of 12/03/2010, as amended – Publitalia ‘80 S.p.A. qualifies as a related party of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. since the former is a company subject to joint control with Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A.

Nevertheless, the transaction is of lesser importance since it does not exceed the thresholds identified pursuant to article 4, paragraph 1, letter a) of the aforementioned Consob Regulation.

The sale was consequently approved by the Board of Directors of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. following a motivated – non-binding – favourable opinion on the company’s interest in executing the transaction and on the expediency and substantial fairness of the related conditions issued by the Related Party Committee, formed exclusively of independent directors.

Mondadori Group: corporate calendar 2024

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. today announced, as per Art. 2.6.2 of the Regulations of the Markets Organised and Managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A., the corporate events scheduled for 2024:

  • Thursday 14 March 2024: meeting of the Board of Directors for the approval of the draft of the Annual Report and the Consolidated Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2023;
  • Tuesday 14 May 2024: meeting of the Board of Directors for the approval of the Interim Management Statement at 31 March 2024;
  • Wednesday 31 July 2024: meeting of the Board of Directors for the approval of the Half-Year Report at 30 June 2024;
  • Wednesday 13 November 2024: meeting of the Board of Directors for the approval of the Interim Management Statement at 30 September 2024.

The Annual General Meeting of the Shareholders for the approval of the Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2023 will be held on first calling on Wednesday 24 April 2023 (Friday 26 April in second call, if any).

Presentations to the financial community of the results for the full year at 31 December 2023, the Half-Year Report at 30 June 2024 and the Interim Management Statements at 31 March 2024 and at 30 September 2024 will be held on the dates, as indicated above, of the respective meetings of the Board of Directors.

Any changes will be promptly communicated to the market.

Mention should be made that Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., as a company listed on the Euronext STAR segment of Borsa Italiana, will publish the Interim Management Statements at 31 March 2024 and at 30 September 2024 – pursuant to art. 2.2.3, par. 3, of the Borsa Italiana Regulations – within 45 days after the end of the first and third quarters of the year (with exemption from the publication of the interim report on the fourth quarter if the annual financial report 2022, together with the other documents referred to in art. 154-ter, par. 1, of the Finance Consolidation Act, is made available within 90 days after year end). The structure, information and procedures for the publication of the documents are unchanged from the Interim Management Statements previously published pursuant to former Article 154-ter, paragraph 5, of the Finance Consolidation Act.

Pursuant to the requirements of the Instructions to the Regulations of the Markets Organized and Managed by Borsa Italiana S.p.A. (art. IA.2.1.3), Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. announces that in the event of distribution of the dividend for the 2023 financial year, the months of any coupon detachment and payment will be May 2024 (for a tranche equal to 50% of the overall dividend) and November 2024 (for a tranche equal to the further 50% of the overall dividend). It is specified that this communication is made for the sole purpose of complying with the above provisions of Borsa Italiana S.p.A. and does not assume any predictive value regarding the outcomes of the assessments and resolutions relating to the distribution of the dividend. These resolutions are delegated, on the dates indicated above, to the Board of Directors when approving the 2023 draft of the Annual Report and to the Shareholders’ Meeting.

Mondadori Group: publication of Interim Management Statement at 30 September 2023

Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A. hereby informs that the Interim Management Statement at 30 September 2023 is now available at the Company’s registered office, at the authorized storage mechanism 1info (www.1info.it) and on the website www.gruppomondadori.it (Investors section).

The Board of Directors approved the Interim Management Statement at 30 September 2023

Sharp increase in profitability EBITDA Adjusted +12%

  • Consolidated revenue € 679.9 million, up on € 678.2 million at 30 September 2022
  • Adjusted EBITDA: € 129.3 million, +12% compared to € 115.5 million at 30 September 2022
  • EBIT positive at € 90.5 million, up by 16% versus € 78 million at 30 September 2022
  • Group net result at € 66.3 million, up by € 8 million compared to the result at 30 September 2022 (approx. +14%)
  • Solid cash generation confirmed, with LTM Free Cash Flow positive for € 51.4 million
  • Strengthened capital structure: Net Financial Position excluding IFRS 16 at 30 September 2023 improved by over € 20 million, to € -152.3 million (€ -173.4 million at 30 September 2022)
  • IFRS 16 net financial position of € -223.9 million (€ -235.7 million at 30 September 2022)
  • The Group reiterates ability to self-finance its external growth policy

Confirmed 2023 outlook

  • Single-digit growth of revenue
  • Adjusted EBITDA increased high single-digit/low double-digit, with margins expected to range between 16% and 17%
  • Net profit up by around 20%
  • Ordinary Cash Flow expected to be between € 65 and 70 million, an increase of up to 15%
  • Group net financial debt (IFRS 16) expected at 1.0x Adjusted EBITDA at the end of 2023

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 30 September 2023 presented by Chief Executive Officer Antonio Porro.

“The Mondadori Group has recorded excellent results and a sharp increase in profitability in the first nine months of 2023, attributable to the pursuit of a meticulous management of operations, the contribution of recent acquisitions and the synergy arising from their integration, which allowed for an improvement in the performance of all business areas and a capital strengthening of the Group. We can therefore confirm what was announced on 29 June in terms of expected results for the ongoing year, namely an economic and financial improvement”, said Antonio Porro, CEO of the Mondadori Group.

Performance at 30 September 2023

Consolidated revenue for the first nine months of 2023 amounted to € 679.9 million versus € 678.2 million in the first nine months of 2022, growing by 0.3%. Like-for-like, organic revenue growth came to 1.1%.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first nine months of 2023 was € 129.3 million, an increase of around € 14 million on the € 115.5 million recorded for the same period in 2022.

Netting the results for the respective periods in question of the reliefs and contributions respectively paid, the growth recorded by Group’s EBITDA would exceed € 17 million.

All business areas contributed to the result, especially the Trade BOOKS Area, due in particular to the effect of the consolidation of the results of the recently acquired companies, the Education BOOKS Area and the RETAIL Area.

Group EBITDA for the first nine months of the current year amounted to € 131.5 million, compared to € 114.5 million at 30 September 2022, an improvement of approximately € 17 million attributable to the operating dynamics and the recognition in the current year, in the MEDIA Area, of the net capital gain resulting from the sale of the titles Grazia and Icon (and the related international network).

Thanks to the positive performance of all business areas, the Mondadori Group’s EBIT for the first nine months of 2023, positive for € 90.5 million, showed an improvement of € 12.5 million compared to 2022. The result was achieved despite the booking of approximately € 4 million in higher depreciation/amortisation resulting from the greater investments made in the last 12 months, the consolidation of new companies (€ +1.0 million) and the accounting effects of the PPA (Purchase Price Allocation) process (€ +1.2 million compared to the first nine months of 2022).

Neutralising extraordinary items and the impact of the PPA process related to the companies acquired in the last 24 months, Adjusted EBIT would amount to € 92.1 million, up by more than € 10 million (+12.9%) compared to the same period of the previous year.

Financial expense grew by over € 3 million, of which around € 2 million as a result of the higher cost of debt.

The consolidated result before tax was positive at € 87.1 million, an improvement of about € 11 million compared to € 75.8 million in the first nine months of 2022. The over € 2 million improvement in the profits of associates, in addition to the information already noted, contributed to this performance, particularly as a result of the update in the fair value measurement of the investment in the company A.L.I. and the recognition of a capital gain of € 0.4 million from the sale of the residual investment in SEE, the publishing company of Il Giornale.

The Group’s net profit at 30 September 2023, after minority interests, was positive for € 66.3 million and showed a significant improvement of € 8 million (around 14%) versus € 58.3 million recorded in first nine months of 2022.

Tax costs in the period totalled € 20.5 million versus € 17.6 million at 30 September 2022 due to the higher pre-tax result.

The Group’s capital structure grew stronger still: the Net Financial Position excluding IFRS 16 at 30 September 2023 amounted to € -152.3 million (net debt), an improvement of over € 20 million versus € -173.4 million at 30 September 2022, as a result of the relevant cash generation of the business and despite the cash-out relating to acquisitions made during the last 12 months and the distribution of dividends in May 2023 for around € 29 million.

The IFRS 16 Net Financial Position came to € -223.9 million, from € -235.7 million recorded at 30 September 2022, including an IFRS 16 component of € -71.6 million.

At 30 September 2023, cash flow from ordinary operations in the last 12 months came to € 64.6 million, while cash flow from extraordinary operations was negative for € 13.2 million.

Consequently, LTM Free Cash Flow at 30 September 2023 was positive for € 51.4 million, confirming the Group’s capacity to finance its growth policy by external lines.

Performance of Business Areas

Trade Books Area

Following the consolidation phase of 2022, 2023 showed further growth in the book market for 2.3% (in terms of value) and a substantial stability in terms of volume compared to 2022. The third quarter in particular showed a 1.6% increase in terms of value (source: GFK, September 2023).

In this context, the Mondadori Group’s publishers recorded growth of 2.2% in the first nine months, which is in line with the reference market, despite the third quarter of 2022 having benefited from a strong publishing plan. Thanks to this performance, Mondadori has consolidated its national leadership position, with a market share which, in September 2023, remained stable at 27.3%.

Revenue in the first nine months of 2023 in the Trade BOOKS Area stood at € 268 million, increasing by 14% compared to the same period in 2022.

Adjusted EBITDA in the first nine months of 2023 amounted to € 41 million: net of reliefs relating to Electa’s museum activities (€ 6.4 million), which had benefited in 2022, the area recorded growth of 23% (€ 7.6 million), largely attributable to the contribution of the newly acquired companies in the current year.

The profitability at 30 September 2023 achieved by the Trade BOOKS Area was approximately 15%, showing improvement on the same period in 2022, excluding the contribution of the reliefs (14%).

Education Books Area

The Mondadori Group’s publishing houses in the context of school textbooks achieved a market share (adoption) of 32%, substantially stable compared to the figure reported in the previous year, with growth in the secondary school segment (upper and lower secondary schools) and a decrease in primary, characterised by higher volatility and lower profitability.

In the first nine months of 2023, the school textbooks business reported overall revenue of € 215.5 million (€ 213.7 million in the corresponding period of 2022), increasing by 0.8% despite a partial delay in the distribution activities.

In particular, an analysis of the trend by school level shows how revenue from first- and second-level secondary school – accounting for 80% of the area’s revenue – has grown by around 3%, with a trend offset by the decrease recorded by primary school (-7.9% compared to the same period in 2022), in line with the adoption trend reported. As expected, the sales of third-party publishers distributed by Rizzoli Education fell by 7%.

Adjusted EBITDA of the Education BOOKS Area in the first nine months of the year stood at € 73.9 million, a clear improvement compared to € 68.1 million in the corresponding period of financial year 2022 (+8.5%), mainly due to a different and more favourable mix of revenue and a lower percentage of product cost and promotional costs.

Retail Area

As already mentioned, the book market in Italy in the first nine months reported a 2.3% growth compared to the same period in 2022; in this context, the physical channel grew by +4.8% while the online channel declined (estimated at -1.6%), even if gradually recovering in the third quarter of 2023 compared to the figure from the corresponding period of 2022.

In the first nine months of 2023, Mondadori Retail recorded a 5.7% increase in book sell-out in stores; thanks to this overperformance, driven by excellent performance reported by physical stores, Mondadori Retail’s market share stood at 13% of the total market, +0.4% on 30 September 2022, and almost came to 20% of the physical market.

In the first nine months of the year, the RETAIL Area reported revenue of € 133.4 million, up by € 7.4 million (+5.9%) versus the same period of the prior year. The ongoing development and renovation of existing stores and the focus on the core business of books have enabled the Mondadori Store network to consolidate its role in the market, as demonstrated by the solid growth in revenue from the book product.

An analysis of sales by channel shows a further increase in revenue from directly-managed bookstores (+12.8% compared to the same period in the previous year) and franchisee bookstores (+4.0% compared to 30 September 2022) and, at the same time, a decline in the Online and Bookclub channels.

As far as the product categories are concerned:

  • the book area was the main component of revenue (more than 80% of the total), up comprehensively by +6.6% compared to 2022, driven by the excellent performance of physical stores;
  • Extra-Book sales were on a positive trend (+14.7% versus the first nine months of 2022) confirming the excellent signs arising in the last year, due to the growth in the stationery, games, gifts and music.

The RETAIL Area had a positive Adjusted EBITDA of € 8.3 million, a value that has doubled compared to the figure for the first nine months of 2022 (€ +4.2 million).

Media Area

In the first nine months of 2023, the MEDIA Area recorded revenue of € 101.5 million, a reduction of approximately 25% on the same period of the previous year. On a like-for-like basis (thus excluding the effect of the deconsolidation of the titles sold at the beginning of 2023 and of Press-di’s distribution activities), this reduction is smaller by around 6% thanks to the performance of near stability achieved in the third quarter of the year and shows different trends in the two digital and print components.

The Digital Area, which accounts for over 37% of the area’s overall revenue, showed an increase in advertising revenue of around 20%, deriving in particular from the positive performance of MarTech; the Print Area fell by around 16%, mainly due to the significant drop in add-on sales in the period.

In the first nine months of 2023, the Mondadori Group retained its position as Italy’s top multimedia publisher: in print with 13 titles and 9 million readers; on the web with 12 brands and approximately 27.7 million average unique users per month; on social media with 100 profiles and a fanbase of around 100 million.

In the magazine segment, the Group’s market share (in terms of circulation) stood at 20.3%, up slightly – with a like-for-like portfolio of titles – versus the figure in the same period of 2022 (19.8%), due to improved performance on that of the reference market.

Adjusted EBITDA in the MEDIA Area amounted to € 10.3 million, up by around 10% compared to the first nine months of 2022, mainly attributable to the traditional activities – which benefited from a contribution to offset the costs incurred by the publisher for the distribution of periodicals (€ 2.8 million) – which more than offset the decrease in the margin on sales of collateral items; in the Digital Area, Adjusted EBITDA is essentially stable on the same period in 2022 thanks to higher advertising revenue, despite the higher costs incurred for launching new initiatives tied to the influencer marketing segment and the deconsolidation of the result related to the digital activities of the titles sold.

Performance in Third Quarter 2023

Consolidated revenue for the third quarter of 2023 amounted to € 317.6 million (versus € 323.1 million the prior year), showing a slight decline compared with the same period of 2022 (-1.7%). Like-for-like, organic revenue performance recorded -1.2%.

Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2023 was € 91.1 million, an increase of almost € 3 million on the € 87.9 million recorded for the third quarter of 2022.

In the third quarter of 2023, EBIT closed with a positive € 76.5 million, showing an improvement of € 1.8 million.

Neutralising extraordinary items and the impact of the PPA process, Adjusted EBIT would stand at € 77.8 million, up by around € 2 million from € 75.9 million in the third quarter of 2022.

Outlook for the year

The forecasts previously communicated to the market on 29 June 2023 are confirmed, and reported in full below.

Income Statement

  • single-digit revenue growth;
  • high single-digit/low double-digit growth in Adjusted EBITDA, with margins expected to range between 16% and 17%;
  • approximately 20% growth in net profit.

Cash Flow and Net Financial Position

  • ordinary cash flow is expected to range between € 65 and 70 million, showing an increase of up to 15% compared to the figure from 2022;
  • the Group’s net financial debt (IFRS 16) is confirmed to come in, at end FY 2023, as 1.0x adjusted EBITDA, down from 1.3x at end 2022.

 

The presentation of the results at 30 September 2023, approved today by the Board of Directors, is available on 1Info (www.1info.it), on www.borsaitaliana.it and on www.gruppomondadori.it (Investors section). A Q&A session will be held in conference call mode at 4.00 pm for the financial community, attended by the CEO of the Mondadori Group, Antonio Porro, and the CFO, Alessandro Franzosi. Journalists will be able to follow the meeting in listening mode only, by connecting to the following phone number +39.02.8020927 or via web at: https://hditalia.choruscall.com/?calltype=2&info=company.
The Financial Reporting Manager – Alessandro Franzosi – hereby declares, pursuant to Article 154 bis, paragraph 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 complete pdf:

  1. Consolidated Statements of Financial Position
  2. Consolidated Income Statement
  3. Consolidated income statement – III quarter
  4. Group cash flow
  5. Glossary of terms and alternative performance measures used