Norway media group Schibsted profit misses forecast

OSLO - Norwegian media group Schibsted reported a smaller-than-expected 3 percent rise in second-quarter core earnings, held back by costs, and said the Scandinavian advertising market remained good.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 15 Aug 2008, 12:57 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:53 AM

Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) rose to 426 million Norwegian crowns ($79.25 million) in the three months to the end of June from 413 million in the same quarter last year, the company said on Friday.

The result lagged an average forecast of an 8 percent rise to 444 million crowns in a Reuters survey of eight analysts whose estimates ranged from 389 million to 540 million crowns.

‘With the exception of certain print-based classifieds markets where there has been a decline, the Scandinavian advertising markets have remained good,’ Schibsted ASA said.

‘In case of a macroeconomic slowdown advertising sales can be affected negatively,’ it added.

The company, which publishes Norway's widest-circulation paper VG and the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten but has also grown in online media, said it saw good growth and operating profits continuing in its online classified ad business.

Online activities produced 25 percent of the group's 3.57 billion crowns in operating revenues and 54 percent of EBITA in the quarter, the company said.

Schibsted said Aftenposten was planning measures to improve profitability, aiming for an operating margin of 4-10 percent, and would give details of the plans in September.

‘The uncertainty in the real estate advertisement market continues,’ it said, referring to Aftenposten's classified ad business.

Schibsted said it expected costs related to organic growth projects to fall to around 300-350 million crowns this year, below a figure of 350-400 indicated in May.

Schibsted shares closed at 144 crowns on Thursday, valuing the company at about 9.97 billion Norwegian crowns. Trade on the Oslo bourse resumes at 0700 GMT.

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