As reported by DMGT:
Good progress with strategic priorities and Full Year results in line with expectations
* Successful execution against strategic priorities; active portfolio management continued
* Strong financial position, net cash of £233m; disposal of ZPG Plc stake realised £642m
* Underlying revenue stable, performance in line with expectations
o Good B2B performance: underlying revenues +3% with margin improvement
o Challenging Consumer Media conditions: underlying revenues –4%, margin 10%
* Adjusted profit before tax down pro forma -16%; adjusted EPS down pro forma –23% to 42.2p reflecting the reduced portfolio of businesses following capital realisation
* Statutory operating profit £169m (FY 2017 loss £(129)m); statutory profit before tax £692m (FY 2017 loss £(112)m); statutory EPS 194.7p (FY 2017 97.8p)
* Full year dividend increased +3% to 23.3p
Paul Zwillenberg, CEO, commented: “We have made good progress against our three strategic priorities of increasing portfolio focus, improving operational execution and enhancing our financial flexibility. The focus of our portfolio was significantly increased by the disposals of EDR and our stake in ZPG Plc, clearly demonstrating DMGT’s long-term approach to value creation. As a result, our balance sheet has strengthened considerably, to a net cash position, enhancing our financial flexibility for balanced capital allocation. We have also continued to implement a series of operational initiatives across the Group that is starting to gain traction.
DMGT’s performance during the year was in line with our expectations despite some challenging trading conditions. Our B2B businesses delivered broad-based underlying growth and Consumer Media continued to outperform its markets. MailOnline continues to perform well and has reached an important milestone with digital advertising revenue now exceeding the Mail’s print advertising revenues. As we move into FY 2019, our vision for DMGT’s future remains unchanged; we seek to deliver profitable growth across a diversified portfolio, driven by our long-term approach to investment and increased focus on innovative technologies. The Board remains confident that the Group’s strategy, supported by our strong balance sheet, will over the medium term, deliver consistent earnings growth to underpin DMGT’s long-standing commitment to sustainable annual real dividend growth.”
Full Year Financial Results:
• Revenue of £1,426m; stable underlying performance: reflects broad-based underlying growth from EdTech, Energy Information, Insurance Risk and Events and Exhibitions, offset by a decrease from Property Information and Consumer Media.
• Adjusted operating profit of £145m; underlying decrease –17%: the growth from Insurance Risk and EdTech was more than offset by the expected decrease from the rest of the Group, notably Consumer Media, and the increase in Corporate costs. Group adjusted operating margin of 10% delivered compared to a pro forma margin of 11% in the prior year.
• Statutory operating profit of £169m compared to a loss of £(129)m in the prior year, due to reduced exceptional operating costs and reduced impairment charges. There was a £58m impairment charge in respect of historic RMS(one) development costs.
• Income from JVs and Associates: the share of adjusted operating profit decreased –6% on a pro forma basis to £74m, reflecting investment in the DailyMailTV joint venture and the disposal of DMGT’s stake in ZPG Plc (ZPG) in July 2018, which resulted in the exclusion of the share of ZPG’s profits for the last three and a half months of the year.
• Profit before tax (PBT): adjusted PBT decreased –16% on a pro forma basis to £182m, including finance charges of £37m (FY 2017 £41m pro forma) and the adverse effect of the weaker US dollar. Statutory PBT was £692m (FY 2017 loss £(112)m) including the gain on the ZPG disposal.
• Tax: the adjusted tax charge was £33m (FY 2017 £27m pro forma) and the adjusted effective tax rate increased to 18.2%, as expected, whilst statutory tax was a charge of £4m.
• Earnings per share: adjusted EPS decreased –23% on a pro forma basis to 42.2p (FY 2017 54.8p). Statutory EPS was 194.7p (FY 2017 97.8p).
• Net cash was £233m as at 30 September 2018, an improvement of £697m compared to net debt of £464m at the start of the year.
• Portfolio management: the portfolio is now significantly more focused following Xceligent’s cessation of trading; the disposal of EDR and Hobsons’ Solutions business; the partial sale of SiteCompli, which is now classified as an associate rather than a subsidiary; and the merger of Genscape’s solar business into AlsoEnergy. DMGT’s disposal of its stake in ZPG completed in July 2018 and generated £642m proceeds. The Events and Exhibitions business made two small acquisitions during the year and DailyMailTV became a wholly-owned subsidiary in October 2018.