De Telegraaf profit up 16.4%.
In 1998, N.V. Holdingmaatschappij De Telegraaf made a net profit of NLG 145.2 million, a 16.4% increase over the 1997 net result of NLG 124.7 million. Net earnings per share of NLG 0.50 par value rose from NLG 2.37 for 1997 tot NLG 2.77 for 1998.
The improved result is due to:
- a 12.5% rise in operating profit from NLG 173.3 million in 1997 to NLG 195.0 million in 1998, partly owing to strong cylical growth in newspaper advertising volume. Group turnover increased by 12% to NLG 1.52 billion;
- the rise in the positive balance of financial revenue and charges, from NLG 12.9 million in 1997 to NLG 25.2 million in 1998, partly owing to the company’s share in the profit of the 30% participating interest in SBS 6 B.V. Last year, the company still bore part of the initial loss sustained in 1997;
- a decrease in the positive extraordinary result after tax from NLG 4.2 million in 1997 to NLG 0.6 million in 1998.
The cash flow increased from NLG 238.3 million in 1997 to NLG 263.1 million in 1998.
The company proposes to declare a dividend for 1998 of NLG 0.98 per share, representing a 35.4% pay-out of the net profit. The 1997 dividend amounted to NLG 0.84 per share, which also represents 35.4% of the net profit.
The company’s profit expectation for 1999 is affected by the following factors:
- the growth in advertising came to a virtual halt during the first months of 1999;
- during the first periods of 1999, the result increased beyond expectations compared to the same periods last year. This is partly attributable to the integration of De Courant Nieuws van de Dag and De Telegraaf in February 1998. The economic advantage of this integration was reflected in the results from the second half-year of 1998 on;
- The initial costs of a free newspaper for commuters travelling by public transport, to be started in the second half of this year. This publication will be printed outside the company, at Friese Pers in Leeuwarden.
In view of the above-mentioned circumstances, it is impossible to quantify a profit forecast for the whole of 1999.
With regard to Biegelaar Groep, the company intends to renew one of the rotogravure presses. Investments will also be made in peripherals and finishing equipment, production routing and improvement of the infrastructure, which will lay the groundwork for future expansion. Total investments will amount to around NLG 100 million and will be put into operation in 2001.