PRISA has kicked off 2023 with growth in business, margins and revenue, with every single major indicator showing improved performance. Q1 Group revenues were 267 million, growing by 27% compared to the same period last year. Improved results were thanks to, among other factors, a extraordinary institutional book sale in Argentina. EBITDA thus reaches 67 million, a figure 63% higher than in the same period of 2022. Margin, at 25.2%, is up by 6 points compared to the same period of the previous year.
Ongoing growth is largely thanks to transformation and the Group's clear commitment to digital business, with Santillana seeing growth of 11% over the period January-March 2022 to reach 2.8 million subscriptions.
The number of subscribers to EL PAÍS increased by 46% to reach a total of 287,000 subscribers, of whom 249,000 are exclusively digital. The figure for net new subscribers to EL PAÍS in the first quarter was, on average, 7,000 per month.
With regard to the financial situation of the Group, debt was reduced by EUR 145 million and stood at EUR 781 million at the end of the first quarter. Net debt/EBITDA ratio thus stood at 4.5x, the lowest level since 2017. Indeed, the ratio has fallen 1.7 percentage points since December 2022. Liquidity was reported as EUR 246 million, while cash generation reached EUR 149 million and includes the impact of convertible bonds.
Net result for the Group totaled EUR 5 million, compared to net zero at the close of the first quarter of 2022.
Santillana's Q1 EBITDA reached EUR 67 million, partly driven by the successful tender bid in Argentina. This compares to EUR 45 million in the same period of 2022, which represents an increase of 50%. The results of this sale are subject to change depending on exchange rates.
Revenues increased by 32% in the first quarter of the year to reach EUR 170 million. Learning-systems enjoyed growth of 18%.
Santillana continues to strengthen its lead in the education market in Latin America, thanks to its commitment to the transformation and development of digital operations.
PRISA Media also saw solid performance in terms of advertising revenue and subscriptions to EL PAÍS. In advertising, PRISA Media saw its share rise in all markets and experienced a notable increase of 7% in revenue, led by radio and online news media.
PRISA Media’s EBITDA was EUR 2 million, compared to the negative two million seen the previous year. Margin, meanwhile, was up by four percentage points.
Revenues were up by 18% compared to the first quarter of 2022, reaching 98 million, including the audiovisual business.
The Group's radio division (SER, LOS40, Caracol, ADN Chile, among others) remained audience-share leader with 23 million listeners in total. Cadena SER reinforced its lead in Spain, with 4,143,000 listeners according to data from the latest EGM audit. Among music stations, LOS40 registered its best figures since 2014 with more than 3.3 million daily listeners. Audio downloads increased by 10% and averaged 50 million downloads per month. Video reproductions surged by 14% and the total number of unique browsers for PRISA Media now exceeds 246 million.
PRISA's Sustainability strategy continues apace in terms of the commitments that the Group set out in its Master Plan 2022-2025. With regard to good governance, the presence of women on the Board of Directors has now reached 42.86%, after the incorporation of Pilar Gil, the company's CFO, as executive director in February 2023. As part of the Group's commitment to responsible management and initiatives aimed at raising awareness among our audiences in the fight against climate change, the first ECO TALK of the year was launched, organized by LOS40 and focused on combating pollution. Finally, in the field of social impact, the campaign "#8MConectadas" was a notable success. This was a Santillana initiative to mark International Women's Day and was focused on the use of technology and education as a way of empowering women in Latin America.
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