PRISA's Annual General Shareholders' Meeting, held today in Madrid, has approved, with the overwhelming support of the shareholders (99.87%), the management performance of the company's Board of Directors and the annual accounts for 2022.
Addressing the AGM, PRISA's Chairperson, Joseph Oughourlian, proposed the appointment of Pilar Gil and Fernando Carrillo as Deputy Chairpersons of the group to develop corporate functions in Spain and the Americas.
The AGM has also set the number of Board directors at 15, has ratified the appointment of Pilar Gil as executive director, has re-elected Joseph Oughourlian and Manuel Polanco as proprietary directors and Béatrice de Clermont-Tonnerre as an independent. In addition, it has appointed Miguel Barroso as proprietary director and Isabel Sánchez and Fernando Carrillo as independent directors.
Joseph Oughourlian: "We’re sticking to our plan, and we are strong"
In his speech to shareholders, PRISA's Chairperson highlighted the strength and growth of the businesses in a complex and competitive environment, in which uncertainty and the rise in interest rates have had a direct impact on operations. "Despite this, the current management team has managed to double EBITDA in two years and achieve the objectives of the strategic plan," he said.
Oughourlian pointed out that “efforts of our teams and workforce have been rewarded with very significant figures such as the 300,000 subscribers reached by EL PAÍS in less than three years. Our newspaper has become the news title to have seen the most growth in the least amount of time in the world. Meanwhile, our education business has reached 2.8 million subscribers in Latin America, where we serve millions of students.”
Addressing Group debt, Oughourlian told shareholders: “My priority, and I reiterate it here today, is to reduce the group's debt and bring it under control.”
Turning to the Board’s proposal for the appointment of the two Deputy Chairpersons, Pilar Gil and Fernando Carrillo, he lauded their professional track records and valued the importance of their future corporate roles in Latin America and Spain. Both appointments are part of PRISA’s policy to improve governance.
Pilar Gil, PRISA's Chief Financial Officer also spoke of the Group’s positive results. “The good performance of our businesses, cash management and debt control have enabled us to improve results in a very complex year."
Pilar Gil, PRISA's Chief Financial Officer, gave shareholders a summary of the year: “In 2022, despite a very complex macroeconomic environment, the Group managed to improve its financial results thanks to three fundamental factors: firstly, the good performance of our businesses; secondly, the management and maximization of cash generation; and thirdly, debt control.”
Gil also highlighted the success of the two operations carried out to improve the company's finances: the refinancing of debt in April 2022 and the issuance of mandatory convertible bonds, into newly issued PRISA shares, which was completed at the beginning of 2023. Both operations “clearly demonstrated the strong support and backing we have from all of you, our shareholders,” she said.
“We have exceeded the targets we’d set, and we remain committed to the roadmap we set ourselves in the Strategic Plan communicated to the markets,” said the CFO. “By 2023, our goal is to exceed 900 million euros in revenue, reach an EBITDA margin, adjusted for severance, in a range of between 17% and 18%, and achieve free cash flow above 40 million euros.”
Carlos Núñez, Executive Chairperson of PRISA Media: "Democratic sustainability needs media that do true journalism."
The Executive Chairperson of PRISA Media, Carlos Núñez, highlighted the lead enjoyed by the company's media, which in 2022 reported 231 million unique monthly users. This leadership was built on strategy, he explained: "We have focused and concentrated on management, we have focused on deploying the full potential of PRISA Media through a range of editorial, technological and sales initiatives.
“We are already the second largest audio producer worldwide, with more than 80 million streaming hours per month and more than 45 million audio downloads. Every month, our videos exceed 113 million views. New digital narratives complement our consolidated presence in offline channels, where we have achieved more than 23 million daily listeners and more than 1.2 million daily readers for our print titles. The efforts we have made to increase the number of subscribers to EL PAÍS deserve a very special mention. We closed 2022 with more than 266,000 subscribers. And just a few weeks ago we surpassed the milestone figure of 300,000 subscribers, after just three years of operation.”
Núñez also hailed the role of the Group's media when it comes to delivering on what is perhaps a less tangible, but no less important, aspect of its endeavors: "The sustainability of democratic systems needs to be considered as one more factor in ESG, and on par with environmental, social impact and good governance criteria. And democratic sustainability inevitably needs serious, solvent and independent media outlets that do true journalism.”
Francisco Cuadrado, Executive Chairperson of Santillana: "Our growth is the result of the success of our strategy."
The Executive Chairperson of Santillana, Francisco Cuadrado, highlighted the improvement in the company's financial results compared to the previous year. “EBITDA, adjusted for severance, was 102 million euros, 35% higher than in 2021. This increase was driven by revenue growth to 447 million euros, 25% higher than in 2021. Santillana has bounced back with dynamism, thanks to the strategy designed by the organization.
Said strategy, he explained, was based on a “new organizational structure that has been fully operational from January 1, 2022. This separated the private and public sector businesses and enabled the ad hoc design and development of differentiated sales and marketing structures for each”.
Cuadrado noted the development of subscription models, which, by the end of 2022, had reached 2.6 million subscriptions and revenues of 193 million euros, 44% higher than the previous year. The private sector showed a continued rising trend, and the public sector confirmed its resilience, he said. Subscription growth was particularly strong for English-language learning systems, where there was an increase of 81% in the number of subscriptions, and this growth was accompanied by a high level of loyalty among customers.
The Executive Chairperson of Santillana concluded by highlighting the role of sustainability. He stressed that the group's strategic plan ensures that the Company continues to strive for education that has a real impact on society.
Indeed, this years’ PRISA AGM, held today, has obtained sustainable event certification for the first time ever. This certification, issued by EventSost, means that both the event’s planning and its execution have been carried out taking into account criteria of diversity and inclusion, as well as the protection of the environment.
It may interest you