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UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC REPORTS FIRST-HALF RESULTS UP 20 PERCENT; DECLARES INTERIM DIVIDEND

 UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC REPORTS FIRST-HALF RESULTS UP 20 PERCENT;
 DECLARES INTERIM DIVIDEND
 LONDON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- United Newspapers plc (NASDAQ: UNEWY) had pre-tax earnings for the six months enderable period a year ago, it was announced today by the chairman, Lord Stevens.
 Earnings per share were 14.2 pence ($.51 per ADR), a 20-percent increase from the 11.8 pence in the first half of 1991. Net income after minority interests, rose 22 percent to 28.2 million pounds ($50.2 million) from 23.2 million pounds last year.
 Trading profit was 56.4 million pounds ($100.4 million), a 9-percent increase from the 51.6 million pounds last year, while turnover rose 1 percent to 415.7 million pounds ($739.7 million) from the 411.2 million pounds reported in the first half of 1991.
 The board of directors declared an interim dividend of 7.5 pence, the same as the prior year, payable on Nov. 13, 1992, to shareholders of record Oct. 16, 1992. ADR holders will receive a dividend equivalent to 15 pence per ADR translated at the rate of exchange in effect on the date of payment.
 "The improved operating performance was achieved despite the absence of any economic growth. The results were due to the resilience of strong market positions and stringent management of cost. In addition, interest expense declined 25 percent," Lord Stevens commented.
 "Generally, competitive pressure on advertising rates has continued. In the face of continued discounting in a number of areas, overall yields have increased only marginally, although market shares have generally been maintained or improved."
 Lord Stevens added, "The overall performance in the first half of the year was good, given the very difficult environment. It is too early to take a view about the results for the year as a whole, but if we continue to operate as successfully as in the first six months, then it should be possible to improve on last year's second-half performance, although we are not presently assuming any general economic growth this year either in the UK or the U.S."
 A number of acquisitions, costing 5 million pounds ($8.9 million), have enhanced existing areas of strength and a start has been made in establishing a magazine publishing business in Spain with the purchase of Pedeca Publicaciones in Madrid.
 Some noteworthy achievements were recorded in the national newspapers segment. The Sunday Express successfully converted to a tabloid on July 5, resulting in an increase in sales in July of an average of 205,439 copies per issue. The most recent six-month period, ending in August, shows a year-over-year increase of 6 percent in a Sunday market which declined by nearly 2 percent. The Daily Express continued to perform satisfactorily, maintaining its market share in the popular market, which was itself down by 2 percent. An increase in the advertising revenue helped to achieve an excellent profit improvement for the Express Newspapers by some 50 percent.
 Advertising volumes in regional newspapers were up by 1 percent with a similar increase in revenue. Recruitment advertising, however, continued to weaken, declining 13 percent, while property yields remained soft. Cost controls and the continued benefit of reduced newsprint prices contributed to a 4-percent increase in profit. A determination by the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry on the proposed sale of the Northampton and Cambridge titles and the associated purchase of the weekly titles based in Haverfordwest is pending.
 Page count in UK advertising periodicals continued to fall in the early part of the year, but upward trends are now showing through on Exchange & Mart (E&M). At the same time, substantial investment has been committed to the promotion of E&M, which is resulting in improving sales.
 In the U.S., the weak economy in the Northeast has continued to affect the local titles, particularly in the auto category. But "For Rent" titles in the first half of the year showed excellent profit growth of 13 percent, an improvement over last year based on a 7-percent revenue increase. Market shares have been maintained, although increasing competition and a worsening environment are beginning to put pressure on profit growth. The purchase of Printers Hot Line in early September for $13 million will increase penetration of the U.S. specialty national advertising periodicals market.
 No relief from weak advertising linage in the business press markets has been seen but in a number of areas (medical and travel in the UK, and music and computers in the U.S.) some good revenue, market share and yield gains were achieved. The increased performance in this segment is primarily the result of previous cost reductions as well as more successful European trade show operations. Overall advertising volumes are static and the UK specialty consumer magazine markets showed a similar pattern.
 The financial information markets remain very difficult, with reluctance by major customers to commit funds for large investment accounting services, although sales of the Extel Workstation and the PR Newswire basic newsline service have been buoyant.
 United Newspapers is an international publishing company with extensive holdings in the United Kingdom and the United States (including PR Newswire and Miller Freeman Inc. in the U.S.).
 United Newspapers ADR's (equivalent to two UK ordinary shares) are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System.
 Exchange rate is 1 pound equals $1.7794
 UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC
 Group Profit and Loss Account (Unaudited)
 (Pounds and dollars in thousands except per share amounts)
 Six months ended June 30 1992 1992 1991
 (Pounds) (Dollars) (Pounds)
 Turnover 415,711 $739,716 411,223
 Trading profit 56,407 100,371 51,632
 Associated undertakings (119) (212) (261)
 Income from investments 1,154 2,053 1,895
 Interest, net (10,984) (19,545) (14,621)
 Profit before income taxes 46,458 82,667 38,645
 Income taxes (A) 14,003 24,917 11,207
 Net income 32,455 57,750 27,438
 Minority interests 4,244 7,551 4,244
 Net income attributable
 to shareholders 28,211 50,199 23,194
 Interim dividend 14,951 26,604 14,870
 7.5p (1991: 7.5p)
 Earnings per ordinary share 14.2 p 11.8 p
 Earnings per ADR $0.51
 Weighted average number
 of shares outstanding 198,898,092 -- --
 (A) -- Of the estimated taxes, 5,256,000 pounds, or $9,352,526, relates to overseas taxation.
 Currency translation rate: 1 pound equal $1.7794
 UNITED NEWSPAPERS PLC
 Turnover and Trading Profits
 (In thousands of pounds)
 Six month ended Turnover Trading Profits
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Newspapers:
 National 147,457 140,059 14,012 8,958
 Regional 81,387 79,661 13,786 13,270
 Advertising Periodicals 44,623 43,722 13,715 15,350
 Magazines and Exhibitions 116,604 112,591 12,434 10,775
 Information Services 25,187 24,889 3,514 4,314
 Other activities -- -- -- (1)
 Discontinued businesses
 and non-recurring items 453 10,301 (1,054) (1,034)
 Total 415,711 411,223 56,407 51,632
 Europe (including UK) 330,049 324,458 36,436 34,889
 United States 85,662 86,765 19,971 16,743
 Total 415,711 411,223 56,407 51,632
 -0- 9/24/92
 /CONTACT: Graham Wilson of United Newspapers, in London, 071-921-5000; or Philip L. Thomas of the P.L. Thomas Group, in Chicago, 312-906-8060, for United Newspapers/
 (UNEWY) CO: United Newspapers plc ST: IN: PUB SU: ERN


GK-OS -- NY013 -- 2997 09/24/92 10:29 EDT
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