Mecom in discussions to extend bank facilities

Mecom, a Northern Europe-focused publishing business, saw its shares rise after announcing that it is in discussions with its lenders to extend the term of the current bank facilities by one year.

Mecom, a Northern Europe-focused publishing business, saw its shares rise after announcing that it is in discussions with its lenders to extend the term of the current bank facilities by one year.

The share price was also boosted by the news the company's subsidiary, Koninklijke Wegener, had to pay €2.2m rather than €20.6m to the the Dutch Competition Authority, in respect of alleged breaches of undertakings given by Wegener at the time of its acquisition of VNU Dagbladen in March 2000. The fine was settled in December, it said.

The group also said that its full year results for 2012 are expected to be in line with previous guidance, with total revenue down around nine per cent compared to the previous year.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, the group continued to experience advertising revenue declines in all territories, with total advertising revenue down by 17% in the three months to December 31st, compared to a 20% decline in the third quarter, resulting in a 17% decline for the full year.

On-going earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) for the year were around €89m. Total group EBITDA is estimated to be €105m.

The group said it expects adjusted earnings per share from on-going operations to be around 24 euro cents, and expects to propose a final dividend in line with its stated dividend policy of dividends being about three times covered by net adjusted earnings.

Total operating costs for the year were around seven per cent lower than in 2011, with the on-going restructuring programme contributing significantly to this reduction.

Mecom also revealed that "expressions of interest" have been received for the entire Danish operations, and it will invite a "small number" of potential buyers to conduct due diligence shortly.

In Poland, it received a number of offers for the group's operations and is now in exclusive discussions with one party.

Stephen Davidson, Executive Chairman, said: "I am pleased that we expect to deliver 2012 results in line with the trading statement we made on 6th June 2012. During a period of sustained economic pressure and notwithstanding the additional demands of the Strategic Review processes, our people remain committed to the improvement and modernisation of our products and businesses.

"In 2013 we expect further benefits to come from restructuring initiatives and the launch of new subscription packages that provide our readers different and innovative ways to access our content."

The share price rose 7.34% to 87.75p by 13:50.

NR

Recommended

Share tips of the week – 22 October
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 22 October

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
22 Oct 2021
Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region
Share tips

Three dividend stocks from the dynamic Asia/Pacific region

Professional investor Sat Duhra of the Henderson Far East Income investment trust highlights three of his favourite stocks.
18 Oct 2021
Share tips of the week – 15 October
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 15 October

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
15 Oct 2021
Trading: stash the family cash in this cheap wealth management firm
Trading

Trading: stash the family cash in this cheap wealth management firm

Wealth management is a growth market. Rathbone Brothers should be a prime beneficiary – and looks cheap. Matthew Partridge explains the best way to pl…
12 Oct 2021

Most Popular

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy
Energy

How to invest as we move to a hydrogen economy

The government has started to roll out its plans for switching us over from fossil fuels to hydrogen and renewable energy. Should investors buy in? St…
8 Oct 2021
How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy
Energy

How to invest in SMRs – the future of green energy

The UK’s electricity supply needs to be more robust for days when the wind doesn’t blow. We need nuclear power, says Dominic Frisby. And the future of…
6 Oct 2021
Properties for sale for around £1m
Houses for sale

Properties for sale for around £1m

From a stone-built farmhouse in the Snowdonia National Park, to a Victorian terraced house close to London’s Regent’s Canal, eight of the best propert…
15 Oct 2021