PRESS RELEASE MEDIAHUIS
Amsterdam, 5th of march 2018
2017 was a pivotal year for our company. With the acquisition of Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG) and the integration of media activities still in the Corelio and Concentra portfolio, we have become a solid Belgian-Dutch multimedia group. Looking ahead, the broadening of our activities and further expansion in the Netherlands should allow us to keep playing a leading role in the rapidly evolving media landscape.
Taking into account what was a difficult market situation, we still managed to achieve good results in 2017. This had a lot to do with careful cost control and the efforts we all made together. Looking at last year’s achievements paints a nuanced picture, some of the main points of which are listed below:
- Advertising revenues of our Belgian newspapers were under pressure as a result of a sharp decline in the national segment and competition from several large international platforms (Google, Facebook). Stable and marginally improved results in the regional advertising and the classified advertisements markets meant that the damage could be slightly mitigated. In the Netherlands, NRC managed to keep advertising turnover stable in what was a strongly declining market.
- Sales of our popular Belgian titles dropped by 3%, mainly in the area of ad hoc sales. Our subscription sales remained more or less stable. The share of digital subscriptions grew further by approximately 12%. De Standaard and NRC stood out, in a positive sense, thanks to increases in their total sales of 0.4% and 4.3% respectively.
- The popular titles, Het Nieuwsblad/De Gentenaar, Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Belang van Limburg, further strengthened their respective positions in the area of online reach. With the expansion of the “plus” environment, these titles have taken an important step towards stimulating paid digital journalism.
- The importance of our activities in the area of classified advertisements in Mediahuis’ overall result increased further. We will therefore continue to pay more attention to growth markets where we already enjoy a solid starting position, among other ways, through:
- the further development of Zimmo (after the merging of Zimmo and Hebbes into one strong brand);
- the further strengthening of Jobat’s position in what is a rising market;
- our strategic collaboration with Jellow in the Belgian and Dutch job markets.
- With a REBITDA margin of 17.6%, Media Groep Limburg (MGL) posted a strong result. MGL’s door-to-door papers struggled, but declining revenues were offset by, among other things, new digital revenue from De Limburger and the job platform, Limburgvac.nl.
- At TMG, a recovery plan was worked out that started to bear fruit just six months into the takeover, making a positive contribution to the group’s net result.
If 2017 could be characterised as a year with major challenges and unpredictable market conditions, then 2018 will be more of the same. To safeguard and strengthen our market position we have established an excellent starting position. However, we will have to remain vigilant and cost-conscious and making the right decisions will be more essential than ever. It goes without saying that providing a broad array of services to our readers and advertisers, as well as the further digital transformation of our brands, will be decisive for the future and success of our group.