Grupo PRISA has closed the first nine months of the year with robust growth in business, revenues and margins, in line with Guidance for 2023 and the Group's 2022-2025 strategic plan.
At the close of September, PRISA reported revenues of 678 million euros, a 16% increase on the same period last year. EBITDA was 121 million, up 75% compared to the same period in 2022. And EBITDA margin continued its positive trend to reach 17.9%, six percentage points higher than at the end of September 2022.
Santillana's firm commitment to its digital business was reflected in a 7% increase in subscriptions compared to the same period of the previous year. The number of subscribers is now over 2.8 million.
The number of EL PAÍS digital-only subscribers increased sharply by 43% compared to the same period last year. The total number of subscribers (print + digital) exceeded 328,000 at the end of September.
The Group’s focus on debt reduction continues apace and debt stands at 870 million, 55 million less than at the close of last year, thanks to the issuance of convertible notes, whose second conversion window takes place in November. The net debt/EBITDA ratio stands at 4.3x, down 1.9x compared to December 2022. Cash flow improved by 119 million compared to September 2022. Meanwhile, at the close of the third quarter, liquidity stood at 162 million.
The Group's net income was -37 million, impacted by the increase in financial expenses due to the sharp rise in interest rates.
The education business continued to perform very positively in the third quarter of 2023, with double-digit growth in all business lines. Both the public- and private-school-sector businesses enjoyed growth, and revenues rose to 376 million, a 21% increase compared to the first nine months of 2022.
Santillana's EBITDA reached 102 million in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 84% compared to the same period last year.
Santillana's solid leadership in digital transformation continues to drive robust business growth. Learning systems grew and subscriptions increased by 7% compared to the previous year, demonstrating both the strength of the company's products and services and the loyalty of its customers. Sales to the public sector grew by 40%.
Meanwhile at PRISA Media, the number of EL PAÍS subscribers increased steadily to over 328,000 (print+digital). The Group's advertising revenues have performed positively in the first half of the year, increasing by 5% thanks to the strength of both newspapers (print+digital) and radio in Spain and Latin America. PRISA Media's EBITDA was positive at 21 million euros, 15% more than in the same period last year.
Revenues in this business area grew to reach 301 million, up 8%. EBITDA margin stood at 7%. PRISA Media continued to show strong operating performance over the last nine months, with significant growth compared to 2022 for all major digital indicators: digital subscribers (+43%), digital audio (+10% in downloads and +11% in listening hours) and digital video (+22%). Radio channels (Cadena SER and LOS40 in Spain; Caracol and La W in Colombia; ADN in Chile and Radiópolis in Mexico, among others) held their audience leads in all markets where the company operates, with 23 million daily listeners.
The Group continues to champion the international sustainability agenda, hosting top-tier events such as the International Summit on Sustainability and Environmental Innovation, held in Colombia, and the sixth Latin America, United States and Spain in the Global Economy Forum, which took place in September in New York. Coinciding with the United Nations SDG Summit, this forum addressed, among other issues, food security and the goals of zero hunger and the fight against poverty.
In the field of education, Santillana has been recognized as the second-most highly valued Spanish company in Latin America, according to the Barometer on the Image of Spain (BIE) of the Elcano Royal Institute, the think-tank for international and strategic studies.
The Group continues to make progress on its commitment to action on climate, through the reduction of emissions and the support, dissemination and recognition of best environmental practices. Our third photovoltaic self-consumption plant at the Miguel Yuste offices in Madrid has started operations, which will save 28.89 tons of CO2, in addition to the 70.75 tons of CO2 from the two plants already operational. In addition, for the third consecutive year, Queen Letizia presided over the Retina ECO 2023 Awards, which pay tribute to the best business projects in innovation and technology applied to green energies, efficient consumption and smart mobility, among other issues.
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