James Warburton reports APN Outdoor turnaround ahead of sale

“We have acted quickly to effect a significant turnaround of APN Outdoor”

APN Outdoor this week announced its results for the half year ended June 30, 2018 (1H18). Pending the acquisition of the business by JCDecaux, this will be the final results for the company as a standalone business.

Financial highlights:

• Revenue of $168.4 million was up 4%
• Digital revenue 42% of total revenue, up from 37% in 1H17
• Underlying EBITDA up 7% to $39.7 million, reflecting continued EBITDA margin improvement
• Statutory net profit after tax up 13% to $17.8 million (including $2.1 million of non-recurring items, net of tax)

APN Outdoor detailed its contact wins:

• Roads and Maritime Services: contract renewal and extension, adding 34 panels to APN Outdoor
• VicRoads: covering the Princes and Western Freeways in Melbourne
• Queensland Fire and Emergency Services: five new digital opportunities
• Queenstown Airport: significant asset upgrade program, including new external locations
• Sydney Airport Terminal 3: Adding to T1, T2 and external assets

APN Outdoor chief executive officer and managing director, James Warburton, said: “We have acted quickly to effect a significant turnaround of APN Outdoor and there is clear momentum across all parts of our business.

“Today we have reported strong earnings growth, underpinned by solid revenue growth and a prudent cost management program. We have achieved a 100% strike rate in terms of contract renewals and we have also secured several significant new contracts. At the same time, we have invested in our people and in leading innovations such as Dn’A.

“The turnaround has culminated in the proposed JCDecaux transaction, which is a major success for all APN Outdoor shareholders,” he said.

“The team remains focused and will continue to drive the results for the coming half.”

The move by JCDecaux to acquire APN Outdoor was cleared this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It still requires approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in Australia and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Warburton said: “We are very pleased to acknowledge the announcement by the ACCC clearing the JCD transaction. This means one of the key hurdles to the highly attractive takeover of APN Outdoor at $6.70 a share has now been cleared. We expect FIRB and OIO approval to follow ahead of a shareholder vote in October and implementation before the end of the year.

“The APN Outdoor directors have unanimously concluded that the scheme is compelling for APN Outdoor shareholders as it provides an attractive share price premium over APN Outdoor’s recent share price performance and the realisation of immediate value through the certainty of an all cash consideration.”


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