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Chairman's Review

 

 

 

CHAIRMAN'S REVIEW

For the year ended 31 March 2018

Trading conditions for the period under review remained tough.  Revenue increased by 10% to R 262.5 million ( 2017: R238,6 million) and total comprehensive income attributable to equity holders decreased by 2% to R47,7 million ( 2017:R48,6 million) mainly as a result of Classic1027 and Moneyweb losses and acquisition transaction costs. Earnings per share were 541,4 cents (2017: 609.2 cents) and headline earnings per share were 541,5 cents (2017:606.9 cents).

The group generated R30,8 million (2017: R51,1 million) in cash from its operating activities during the year after paying tax of R20,2 million (2018: R17.8.million). The group spent R3,7 million (2017: R6,4 million) on capital expenditure and paid R11,8 million (2017: R11,2 million) to repurchase 230 700 (2017:155 144) of its own shares. During August 2017 the company acquired Moneyweb for R9,4 million cash and the issue of 277 210 shares. In December 2017, AME acquired a stake in Classic1027 for R7 million. During the year the company paid out dividends of R28 million (2017: R27,2 million) to shareholders of the company and ended the year with cash resources of R94,5 million (2017: R119,2 million).

Operations

Low business confidence and the restructuring processes of our acquisitions resulted in demanding trading conditions placing further strain on our resources. Innovation and tight cost control remain imperatives.

Algoa FM had another successful year. National and direct revenue showed marginal growth year on year. The Big Walk for CANSA was a great commercial success and Algoa FM was honoured by the industry by winning two Liberty Radio Awards  for Best Community Project and Best Promotion/Stunt. At the awards, Algoa FM also won the Best Daytime Show. Dave Tiltmann, Algoa FM’s Managing Director was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. Finally, Algoa FM won the ultimate accolade and grand prix award of Commercial Radio Station of the Year.

Central Media Group (“CMG”) encountered challenging trading conditions during the year, with mixed results from the various business units. OFM delivered a decline in profitability due to costs rising above a flat revenue performance. Digital Platforms grew revenue 17.6% as it continues to build its development client portfolio, contributing positively to profitability of the group. Redstar Agency grew revenue by 57% through the introduction of new products and services, which translated into an increase of profitability year on year. Mahareng Publishing experienced the ongoing contraction in print advertising with a slight increase in revenue but a decline in profitability because of increased costs in the printing and distribution of the newspapers. CMG remains well positioned to offer a range of media and marketing solutions to businesses looking to target Central South Africa.

RadioHeads’ profitability improved from the previous year. It has re-focused on its core business, with special attention paid to generating maximum revenue yield from campaigns. The renewed focus has resulted in repeat business from several clients, while establishing itself as a preferred supplier within the agency space.

In order to grow its business and ensure its relevance into the future, United Stations has expanded its portfolio of radio stations to eight and strengthened its offering across digital, events, video, online audio and content creation. These mostly once-off costly initiatives resulted in the company not being profitable for this year. Going into 2018/2019, the United Stations proposition is more compelling, as it will continue to focus on growing its platforms, while presenting itself as a multi - media solution in which radio is the core of a wider offering.

The group acquired an interest in Classic1027 and is in the process of turning the loss-making station around, partly by re-establishing the collaboration between Classic1027 and Moneyweb.

The restructuring of the Moneyweb group resulted in a more cost-efficient business model. The sales and publishing division was also moved into the group sales house, United Stations. Moneyweb Radio has expanded into an extra 30 minute timeslot between 18h00 and 19h00 (Monday – Thursday) on SAFM and also continues to produce a daily one hour show on RSG Geldsake, which is the largest listened to business show on radio in South Africa. Moneyweb launched the first business breakfast show on radio in Gauteng on Classic 1027 between 07h00 and 08h00 on weekdays. Revenues for the financial period since the acquisition largely comprised of digital sales on Moneyweb.co.za. Our radio expertise should enhance Moneyweb’s business shows on the SABC stations. 

Dividends

An interim dividend (dividend no 12) of 100 cents per ordinary share (gross) was declared for the period ended 30 September 2017 (2017:100 cents gross) and paid on 29 January 2018. A final dividend (dividend no 13) for the year ended 31 March 2018 of 200 cents per ordinary share (gross) (2017: 250 cents per share gross) is declared.

Prospects

The board expects the trading conditions for the 2019 financial year to remain challenging while turning our two acquisitions around.

ACG Molusi

Independent Non-executive Chairman

8 June 2018

 

 

Contact Details
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