PRISA has increased its operating income by 2.49% in the first nine months of 2017, reaching the €195 million adjusted EBITDA mark. Over the period, the company recorded a remarkable improvement of its operating margin and its financial performance, which resulted in an amelioration of net income, discontinuing operations excluded. These results have been possible thanks to the positive development of the education business, the growth in digital advertising, the solid performance of the radio stations and the favorable evolution of Exchange rate of the euro against Latin American currencies, in addition to the competitive strength of the company’s audiences across all the different media (particularly newspapers & magazines), with 132.6 million unique browsers (+15.5%). Digital transformation-derived income rose by 9.6% to €157.7 million.
Santillana remains the leader in the Spanish-language education business, with a 6.4% growth in Latin America. The company’s total earnings increased by 1.8%, with EBITDA margins remaining stable at €168 million, which excludes part of the institutional sales from Brazil, due in Q4, which are expected to be promising. This solid EBITDA was achieved although 2017 is a slow year for Spain. Special mention should be made of the campaigns in the southern area, where the growth recorded was 11.6% in euros (3.3% ex FX). Digital learning systems UNO and Compartir continue their expansion in Latin America, with a 6% growth in the number of students, which now stands at 916,654.
PRISA’s radio stations are undisputed leaders in Colombia, Chile and Spain, where the number of listeners in on the rise (4.4 million listeners according to EGM, a 38% share in general-interest radio and a 36% share in music radio combining Los40 and DIAL, first and second respectively). Ex-FX total EBITDA of the radio business grew by 16.3% to €34.3 million euros. In Spain, EBITDA was up by 22.2% and advertising grew by 2.1% in the first nine months, in line with market evolution. The income figures for Mexico (+5.2%) and Chile (+4.6%) are particularly noteworthy.
In the newspaper business, El País reached its all-time readership record with 108.5 million unique browsers (+23%) and consolidated its leadership as the most widely read newspaper in the Spanish-language world, the 12th in the global media ranking and the fourth in Spain behind Google, YouTube and Facebook, according to comScore. Income for this business decreased by 9% as a result of lower circulation and extraordinary expenses such as those incurred in the 40th anniversary events and in sports events, which amounted to €157 million. There decreases were compensated for by s strict cost reduction of -8%. Digital advertising, which grew by 3.3%, accounts for 46% of all advertising income in this area.
As is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017 as a Spanish-language sports news leader, with a global audience of 42.7 million unique browsers and a significant international expansion, with editions in Madrid, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Peru, and English and Arabic-language versions for the US, Asia and Saudi Arabia.
In the framework of the Group’s continuing efforts to redress its balance sheet, the General Shareholders’ Meeting authorized several transactions geared towards that end. These included the disposal of Media Capital, a capital increase for €450 million with preferential subscription rights and an additional €100 million increase targeted at creditors wishing to capitalize debt.
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