PRISA Group has registered a comparable EBITDA (at a constant exchange rate and without accounting for the temporary effect of IFRS 15) of EUR 149.6 million in the first half of the year, which represents an increase of 13.5% compared to the figure for the same period of the previous year, as reported to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV). The result before taxes amounts to EUR 38.8 million compared to EUR 54.1 million the previous year. Net result is 0.4 million, against 13.9 million in the January-June 2017 period. Results were hit by the negative impact of exchange rates, which amounted to EUR 55.1 million on revenues and EUR 18. 6 million on EBITDA. The first half of the year ended with a positive cash flow of 0.4 million euros, compared to a negative cash flow of 53.1 million in the same period of the previous year.
The group's CEO, Manuel Mirat, summed up the first half of the year: "During the first six months of 2018, businesses have performed in line with the objectives set for the period, significant progress has been made in generating savings under the efficiency plan, and the refinancing agreement with banks came into force on June 29, extending the maturity of debt by five years and without significant contractual mandatory amortizations until 2022."
Education shows revenue growth of 5.9% and 9% for EBITDA, discounting the impact of exchange rates and the impact of IFRS 15, which came into force in January 2018. This establishes a new model for recognising revenues, and states that these are to be recognised when and only when an entity delivers its services or satisfies its performance obligations. Campaigns in the southern area performed well, with an increase of 10.9% in revenues and 18.8% in EBITDA.
The Radio division continues apace with its consolidation. In Spain, PRISA Radio advertising grew by 3.9% in the first half of the year. In Latin America, total revenues are up by 7.4% in constant currency. Adjusted EBITDA for Radio is up by 28.6% and is at EUR 28.3 million thanks to the growth of advertising and strong operating leverage.
Meanwhile, PRISA Noticias, which encompasses the group’s news media, reported 129 million unique browsers at the close of the first half of the year, which represents a growth of 29%. Newspaper EL PAÍS maintains its lead in the Spanish-speaking world, reaching 85 million monthly users on average. Total advertising revenue for PRISA Noticias fell by 2.5%, but digital advertising grew by 9% and now accounts for 51% of total advertising revenues. At sports daily AS digital revenues now account for 76% of the total.
Media Capital, which has been integrated into the Group's perimeter, has reinforced its lead in Portugal, both in terms of market share and profitability. Adjusted EBITDA grew 9.1% to reach EUR 19.9 million. Mirat explained that "Media Capital is a very solid asset, a great source of revenue, which this year brings a dividend of 17.6 million, and with very positive results in a favorable macro environment. The company's goal is to maximize its value."
On the financial situation of the Group, the CEO highlighted that "after the capital increase carried out at the beginning of the year and thanks to the refinancing agreement, PRISA has managed to achieve a financial structure that is supported by revenues from its current perimeter, and is endowed with flexibility for growth and the creation of further value ".
"The objective of the company is to continue improving its financial structure until reaching a net debt / EBITDA ratio in 2020 below 3," says Mirat. Specifically, PRISA's net debt as of June 2018 stood at 973 million euros compared to 1,422 million euros in December 2017, after accounting for refinancing and Media Capital’s integration into the perimeter of the Group.
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