Media upturn

Scotsman publisher to pay divi and repay debt

Scotsman publisher is seeking acquisitions

National World, owner of The Scotsman media titles, expects to recommend a maiden dividend in conjunction with the release of its full year results on 16 March.

The company, chaired by former News of the World editor David Montgomery, said it maintains a strong financial position with the cash balance increasing by £4 million to £27m as at the year end.

It has repaid the first tranche of the £2.5m deferred consideration payable as a result of acquiring JPIMedia Publishing and its subsidiaries.

In a trading update for the year to the end of December the company said that this year it will pay the second and final tranche of £2.5m deferred consideration for JPI Group, and repay £1m of loan notes, making the company debt free.

Management continues to pursue acquisition opportunities, primarily targeting businesses that will enhance the group’s digital capability.

Revenue for full year 2022 is expected to be not less than £84m, underpinned by robust digital revenue growth of 25%, with print revenue declining 7% compared with the previous year.

Digital revenue growth was lower in the second half of the year at 12% as a consequence of market and audience volatility, combined with the impact of changes to Google’s search algorithm. However, the impact on revenues was mitigated by stronger yields and increased video advertising.

Print advertising revenue declined by 6% and circulation revenue by 9% reflecting subdued consumer confidence in the UK economy because of rising inflation and interest rates.

The average daily sale of The Scotsman for the six months January to June last year was 9,141 with 4,395 of these being over the counter purchases.

For the period July to December 2020 The Scotsman had an average daily sale of 10,437 of which 5,257 were paid single copies.

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