Although its actual net revenues of $146,555,000 were 6.5% lower than a year earlier, they were 1.6% higher like-for-like. At the same time, OIBDA was $38,057,000 (+7.7% actual, +17.7% like-for-like) and net income $11,758,000, compared to $7,250,000 a year earlier.
The company notes that although TV ad revenues decreased in Q1, they will have been normalised for the first four months of the year by Easter and estimated to have been 3% higher at constant rates than in the first four months of 2018.
Commenting on the results, Michael Del Nin, co-CEO, said: “The year has gotten off to an outstanding start, exceeding our previous expectations to such an extent that we are raising our guidance for 2019. With the highest Q1 margin in more than a decade, an 18% improvement in like-for-like OIBDA, and a more than 30% surge in unlevered free cash flow, these are among the best Q1 results in the history of the company. Furthermore, they are bolstered by around 20% growth in TV ad revenues in our two largest markets in April, pushing year-to-date sales well into positive territory after the first quarter was impacted by both sector taxes in Romania and the phasing of spending related to the timing of Easter this year.”
Christoph Mainusch, co-CEO, added: “With the successful launch of the spring season during the first quarter, our main channel in four countries increased year-to-date audience share in both prime time and all day. Carriage fees have transformed the predictability and profitability of several of our businesses, with four segments now seeing margins of more than 25% in Q1. Facing various headwinds in the quarter, we grew our TV ad revenues in three segments, and we increased market share in four of five countries.”