Clear Media interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2012: net profit increased by 15.5%

3 August 2012 9 h 10 min Comments Off

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Double-Digit Growth Achieved Amid a Challenging Environment

- Core bus shelter advertising revenue increased by 13.4% to HK$715 million

- EBITDA increased by 12.0% to HK$272 million

- Net profit[1] increased by 15.5% to HK$84 million and net profit margin increased from 11% to 12% for the first half of 2012

- Basic earnings per share increased by 15.5% to HK15.90 cents

Clear Media Limited (SEHK Stock Code: 100), the leading outdoor advertising company in China listed on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, is pleased to announce its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2012.

The Group’s total turnover increased by 3.4% to HK$715 million during the first half of 2012. Excluding the impact brought about by the termination of the bus body adverting business in Shenzhen, turnover of the core bus shelter advertising business increased by 13.4% to HK$715 million.

The Group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the six-month period increased by 12.0% to HK$272 million (1H2011: HK$243 million). Net profit for the period increased by 15.5% to HK$84 million (1H2011: HK$73 million), primarily driven by an increase in turnover of the core bus shelter advertising business and an increase in bank interest income. Basic earnings per share for the six months ended 30 June 2012 were HK15.90 cents, representing a 15.5% increase from the same period last year.

“During the first half of 2012, the unfavourable global and domestic climate created a challenging operating environment for advertisers in the market, and our core advertising businesses. The sentiment for advertising spending was mixed across the board. Despite a number of advertisers reducing their advertising expenditure, the shortfall was more than compensated by new orders from certain well-known brands. Thanks to our leading market position, our growth strategy and efforts from our professional team, the Group’s core bus shelter advertising business achieved double-digit growth despite the challenging economic climate,” said Mr. Han Zi Jing, CEO of the Group.

As of 30 June 2012, Clear Media operated the most extensive standardized bus shelter advertising network in Mainland China, with a total of 36,000 panels (1H2011: 33,000 panels) covering 28 cities. Revenue from the core bus shelter advertising business increased by 13.4% to HK$715 million (1H2011: HK$630 million).

The adjustment to the Group’s 2012 advertising rate card was relatively high when compared with the adjustment in recent years. The average selling price (“ASP”) increased by 9% in the first half of 2012. The overall occupancy rate softened to 57% (1H2011: 61%) mainly as a result of the challenging economic climate, an increase in total number of panels and a relatively large increase in ASP.

For the six months ended 30 June 2012, the Group’s bus shelter advertising operations in the key cities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai reported higher revenues. Among these three cities, the revenue performance was led by operations in Beijing, followed by Guangzhou and Shanghai.

. Revenue from Beijing increased by 17% for the first half of 2012 to HK$198 million (1H2011: HK$169 million) mainly due to an increase in bus shelter panels and a 9% increase in ASP. The average number of bus shelter panels increased by 12% following an acquisition of concession rights to operate about 700 bus shelter panels in Beijing, made in December 2011. On the back of the challenging economic climate, the increase in bus shelter panels and a relatively large increase in ASP, the occupancy rate softened to 64% (1H2011: 66%).

. Revenue from Guangzhou increased by 10% for the first half of 2012 to HK$112 million (1H2011: HK$101 million) mainly due to a 22% increase in average panels numbers and a 12% rise in ASP. Occupancy rate softened to 47% (1H2011: 59%) due to the time needed to fully integrate shelters acquired during the period.

. Revenue from Shanghai increased by 5% to HK$86 million, reflecting intense price competition from other street furniture formats during the first half of 2012. ASP remained flat with a 2% increase. The average number of panels rose moderately by 3% and the occupancy rate remained at 50%.

. Revenue from all mid-tier cities where the Group operates increased by 14% to HK$317 (1H2011: HK$278 million) for the six months ended 30 June 2012. ASP increased by 9% and the occupancy rate softened to 59% (1H2011: 61%). The average number of bus shelter panels increased by 7%. Among these mid-tier cities, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Nanchang, Nanning and Wuxi performed well with more than 15% increase in revenue.

2011 was the last year the Group operated the bus body advertising business in Shenzhen according to the underlying 5-year operating agreement. During the year ended 31 December 2011, the revenue from the bus body advertising business was HK$123 million and the underlying net profit was relatively small at approximately HK$2 million. During the six months ended 30 June 2012, there was no revenue (1H2011: HK$60 million) from this business.

Mr. Han concluded, “Our management remains cautious about the global economic climate and the slowing economy in China for the rest of 2012 and the foreseeable future. There are a number of short-term challenges, including the diluting effect of marketing budgets for media platforms other than television sector brought about by broadcasting of London 2012 Olympic Games. Nevertheless, we are optimistic about the long-term prospect of the advertising industry in Mainland China. Our bus shelter advertising business is well-positioned to benefit from the strengthening of domestic consumption and ongoing urbanization in China. We will endeavor to strengthen and broaden our core advertising business by expanding our bus shelter network through organic build-out and acquisitions, deploying new displays or interactive technologies at the right time, and hence widening our advertising footprint profitably.”

Financial Highlights: full press release

About Clear Media Limited
Clear Media is the leading outdoor media company in China listed on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Over the years of operations since 1998, Clear Media has created a standardized nationwide bus shelter network that covers nearly 30 key cities and reaches the most affluent consumers in China. The Group enjoys leading market share in key cities and serves leading international and local advertisers. Its largest shareholder, New York-listed Clear Channel Outdoor (NYSE: CCO; www.clearchanneloutdoor.com), is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the world.

SOURCE Clear Media Limited (02/08/2012)

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