News Column

Mecom Loss Narrows, Continues To Recommend De Persgroep Offer

July 30, 2014

Hana Stewart-Smith



LONDON (Alliance News) - Mecom Group PLC Wednesday posted a significantly narrowed loss for the half-year to end June as exceptional costs did not recur, as it continued to recommend a cash offer from De Persgroep NV for GBP196 million.


Mecom is a media company with operations in the Netherlands and Denmark.


Belgian media group De Persgroep said in June that it will pay 155 pence for each share in Mecom. At that time, De Persgroep said it had received irrevocable undertakings from a total of 44.3% of Mecom's issued share capital.


Mecom Wednesday posted a pretax loss of EUR3.8 million, narrowed from EUR111.1 million, despite seeing revenue decline to EUR347.1 million from EUR377.7 million, as exceptional costs of EUR122.6 million did not recur.


In the previous year the company posted EUR6.9 million in staff redundancy costs, and impairment charges of EUR75.7 million on goodwill and EUR45.3 million on acquired intangibles.


In the Netherlands, revenue was down 6.5%, as advertising revenues dropped 16.8%, hampered by the sale of the company's AutoTrack business in 2013 and the sale and closure of some smaller free-sheets in 2014. Costs were down 12.3% as the company cut headcount to 2,281 from 2,707.


In Denmark revenues were down 10.8%, as it reduced the number of trial and discounted subscriptions, and advertising was down 30.4%, hit by disposals made in 2013. Costs were down 10.3% in this region, as it cut costs in all areas except sales and marketing costs.


The company said that, looking forward, market conditions and structural pressures remained challenging, and it believes further restructuring will be required to maintain profitability as it faces further declines in revenue, particularly from print advertising.


Shares in Mecom were trading 0.3% higher at 150.50 pence Wednesday.








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Source: Alliance News


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