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Trends so far globally in line

  • 03 Nov 16

Axel Springer reported flat Q3 16 total revenues of €801.5m (of which 67% is digital, compared with 61.2% a year earlier). On an organic basis, revenues were up by c.3.5% after +5.3% over H1. The 9-month total revenues were also flat at €2,366.5m (of which c.67% digital), mainly affected by the deconsolidation of the activities in Switzerland (following the creation of a JV with Ringier), and up 4.7% organically. Note that the digital activities’ organic growth accelerated to a solid +10.6% over the period compared with +9.9% a year earlier. The Q3 recurring EBITDA was strongly up (+13%) to €146.1m driven by Classified Models, and implying an improved margin of 18.2% versus 16.3% a year earlier. For the 9 months, the recurring profitability improved by 90bp to 17.6% versus 16.7%, with the Classified EBITDA margin more or less flat at 40.5% versus 41%, despite continuing technological and marketing investments (i.e. a reassuring point after the H1 decline from 41.2% to 40.4%). Within Paid Models (45% of total group revenues), which continues to suffer from circulation declines (9 months: -9.5%) but also from advertising drop (-3.2% ytd), digital now accounts for 28.1% of revenues. The Q3 adjusted EPS was more or less flat for the period and up 6.5% ytd. The FY16e guidance is maintained for total revenues more or less in line with last year’s and a rise in EBITDA in the low to mid single-digit percentage range was confirmed. EPS is still forecast in the mid to high single-digit percentage range.