28 April 2023
The revenue of the Baltic leading media group, AS Ekspress Grupp, increased in the first quarter by 25% and the indicator of profitability, EBIDTA, increased by 87%. Still, the Group incurred a loss as expected due to seasonality.
According to the interim report of Ekspress Grupp for the first quarter of 2023, the Group’s revenue increased to EUR 16.8 million, which is 25% higher as compared to the same period last year. Excluding from revenue the acquisitions made in Lithuania (news portal Lrytas and news agency ELTA) in the second half of 2022, revenue growth was 18%.
According to the Chairman of the Management Board of Ekspress Grupp, Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, the Group successfully continued to grow sales volumes in advertising and digital subscriptions, both through an increase in the market share as well as an increase of average prices. “Elections in Estonia and Lithuania also supported advertising growth. In Latvia, where the advertising market was under intense pressure in the first months of the year, we achieved growth primarily through increasing the revenue of the ticket sales company. Advertising revenue from outdoor screens, in which the Group has invested in previous years, also demonstrated growth,” stated Rüütsalu.
The number of digital subscriptions of Ekspress Grupp’s media companies increased by 15% by the end of March 2023 as compared to last year and reached 161 300 subscriptions.
At the same time, the Group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased to EUR 1.2 million which is 87% higher than last year. “Profitability received a boost from successful online advertising sales in Estonia and Lithuania, and the growth in the volumes of ticket sales platforms and digital outdoor screens,“ added Rüütsalu. By the end of March, the share of digital revenue contributed 80% to the Group’s total revenue.
The consolidated net loss for the first quarter of 2023, excluding extraordinary expenses, totalled EUR 0.4 million (Q1 2022: EUR 0.5 million), i.e., the loss from current operating activities decreased by 20% as compared to the same period last year. Including extraordinary expenses, the net loss was EUR 0.7 million of which EUR 0.3 million was related to the one-off reserve cost of the closure of the home delivery service of AS Express Post.
Mari-Liis Rüütsalu commented that media business is highly seasonal due to low advertising sales volumes in the first and third quarters. “In addition to expected seasonality, the key reasons for the loss in the first quarter also include higher depreciation charges due to the Group’s investments and higher interest rates due to the increase in Euribor, the negative effect of which on net profit was EUR 0.2 million in the first quarter,“ explained Rüütsalu.
AS Ekspress Grupp is the leading media group in the Baltic States whose key activities include web media content production, and publishing of newspapers and magazines. The Group also manages an electronic ticket sales platform and ticket sales points and offers an outdoor screen service in Estonia and Latvia. Ekspress Grupp launched its operations in 1989 and it employs almost 1600 people.
AS Ekspress Grupp
Chairman of the Management Board
Phone +372 512 2591