Interim report for January - June 1998
Interim report for January-June 1998
- Operating revenue rose by 19 percent to SEK 425.7 million (357.5).
- Operating profit before goodwill amortization and noncomparable items
amounted to SEK 46.6 million (43.0).
- Profit after financial items amounted to SEK 28.4 million (36.6). Included
is the estimated close-down costs of SEK 6.9 million, which affect profit as a
- Observer Media Intelligence and SMG Consulting have developed positively,
while the effects of the merger within Sifo Research & Consulting as well as a
weak start to the year in Norwegian operations have affected the result.
- Profit after financial items, excluding noncomparable items, is expected
to be slightly lower for the full-year 1998 than for 1997 (SEK 78.1 million).
Sifo Group is active in media and market monitoring, surveys and consulting
services, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scribona. The Annual General
Meeting of Scribona AB on April 21, 1998 approved the distribution of the
shares in Sifo Group AB to the shareholders in Scribona AB. The shares of Sifo
Group AB are scheduled to be listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange's O list
on September 10.
Sifo Group has three divisions: Observer Media Intelligence, which works with
media and market monitoring; Sifo Research & Consulting, which works with
surveys and related consulting services; and SMG Consulting (50-percent
owned), which is active in management and strategic consulting.
Sifo Group operates in the Nordic countries as well as Germany.
Demand generally was good in all operating areas during the period. A lack of
major media events led to slower growth in Observer's basic services, however.
This was well compensated by a faster rate of growth for editorial and
analytical services. Market conditions for Sifo Research & Consulting were
Operating revenue for the first six months of 1998 amounted to SEK 425.7
million (357.5), an increase of 19 percent. For comparable units, growth was 6
For Observer Media Intelligence, operating revenue amounted to SEK 233.6
million (160.2), an increase of 46 percent. Adjusted for acquisitions and
full-year values, organic growth was 15 percent. The growth rate was good in
Sweden, Denmark and Finland (10-15 percent), and very good in Norway and
Germany (over 15 percent). Editorial and analytical services have experienced
faster development than basic services. Today, the value-added services
account for 29 percent of Swedish operations, against 23 percent in the
previous year. The share of value-added services is lower in the other
countries, but is developing positively.
For Sifo Research & Consulting, operating revenue amounted to SEK 187.8
million (184.4) during the year's first six months. In Sweden, growth was
7 percent, while the trend in Norway was negative, -15 percent. The business
areas Brand Management, Market Development and Media reported very good growth
in Sweden (over 20 percent), while MIA (Management of Intangible Assets) in
particular developed weakly. In June Sifo Interactive Media launched
RelevantKnowledge, a method for compiling detailed data on Internet users
using panels. The first contracts have been signed. For the division's
Norwegian operations, the year began with a decline in new orders and invoiced
sales. Order bookings improved gradually, however, and were good during the
final months of the period.
SMG Consulting's operating revenue amounted to SEK 19.7 million (18.5), an
increase of 7 percent. The Swedish operations reported strong growth after
recruiting new staff. The order situation in the division is good.
The Sifo Group's operating profit before goodwill amortization and
noncomparable items amounted to SEK 46.6 million (43.0), an increase of 8
percent primarily attributable to organic growth.
For Observer Media Intelligence, operating profit amounted to SEK 41.4 million
(34.8), an increase of 19 percent mainly attributable to existing operations.
The Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish operations in particular developed well.
Operating profit for Sifo Research & Consulting amounted to SEK 3.6 million
(8.1), down 56 percent. The decline is primarily due to weak development in
Norway in the beginning of the year and by the Internet operations within Sifo
Interactive Media. Sifo Research & Consulting has been weighed down by the
effects of the merger. An action program that has been initiated is expected
to have a positive impact on profit beginning in 1999. Because its operations
are project-oriented, Sifo Research & Consulting's revenue and profit may be
unevenly distributed over the calendar year; consequently, strict comparisons
for portions of the year may be somewhat misleading.
SMG Consulting's operating profit amounted to SEK 1.9 million (- 0.7). The
Swedish operations accounted for the increase.
The group's net financial income and expenses amounted to SEK - 4.7 million (-
1.7). The higher net expense is primarily due to company acquisitions paid in
Noncomparable items amounted to SEK - 6.8 million (0.5) and primarily relate
to costs for the close-down of the U.S. operations.
Profit per share after full tax (excluding noncomparable items) amounted to
SEK 0.56 (0.81).
The investments in acquired businesses during the period amounted to SEK 31.4
million. Due to the acquisitions made, the net debt/equity ratio rose to 53
percent (45). The interest coverage declined slightly to 6.3 (7.9). Goodwill
in the balance sheet rose to SEK 216.3 million (170.0). Shareholders' equity
amounted to SEK 156.0 million (144.9) as of June 30, corresponding to SEK 4.56
(4.23) per share.
To complement its existing operations in Germany, Sifo Group in February
acquired Word Report in Baden-Baden, which is active in TV monitoring. Its
revenues amount to approximately SEK 25 million on an annual basis and the
business, which now operates under the name Observer RTV, employs around 60
Outlook for the full-year
Operating profit before goodwill amortization and noncomparable items for the
full-year 1998, is expected to be essentially the same as the previous year
(SEK 93.7 million).
Profit after financial items, excluding noncomparable items, is expected to be
slightly lower than the previous year (SEK 78.1 million).
Next interim report
The interim report for the nine-month period ended September 30 is scheduled
to be released on November 2.
This report has not been reviewed by the company's auditors.
Board of Directors
For further information, please contact:
Robert Lundberg, President, phone +46 8 625 15 43
Jan-Erik Jansson, Chief Financial Officer, phone +46 8 625 15 42
Sifo Group's interim report is also available on www.sifogroup.com