Caxton’s profits slightly down

2010-02-17 11:30

CAXTON reported marginally lower profits yesterday as it released

its results for the six months ended December 31 2009.

“Whilst profits are down on the corresponding period, they are only

marginally lower which, given the prevailing economic circumstances, is

considered to be a creditable achievement,” the printing and publishing group

said yesterday.

Earnings per share amounted to 54,4 cents, compared with 60,3 cents

in the previous comparable period, a decline of 9,9%.

Headline earnings fell by 9,3%, from 60,6 cents per share in the

previous comparable period to 55,0 cents per share, the company said.

“Recessionary trading conditions have prevailed over the last 18

months and the company’s revenues and, accordingly, its profitability have been

affected.”

It said that during 2009 there was an estimated 10% decline in

worldwide advertising revenues, with print advertising reportedly down in excess

of 20 percent for both newspapers and magazines.

“Advertising revenues in South Africa have shown a very similar

pattern, particularly insofar as newspapers are concerned, with daily and weekly

newspapers bearing the brunt of the decline.”

Caxton said that, furthermore, newspapers had been affected by the

ongoing migration to the internet where content had, up to now, been provided

for at no charge by the majority of publishers.

“Against this background, it is gratifying to report that the

company has produced what it considers to be reasonable results,” Caxton

said.

Consumers were still coming to grips with high debt levels and the

lack of jobs remained a major problem.

“Retail and wholesale trade figures recently published for the past

few months confirm the fact that consumers are acting prudently and are loath to

acquire new debt.”

Caxton said its financial position as a company remained “extremely

strong” with cash and cash equivalents at December 31 2009 amounting to R1,505,8

million.

“This is substantially better than the cash position at the end of

December 2008 of R528,8m and includes the proceeds of the sale of the shares in

Maskew Miller Longman (MML), which transaction has previously been reported

upon.”

It said that turnover at R2,164,4m in the previous period,

increased slightly to R2,186,1m for the six months under review.

“Profit from operating activities reduced from R348,4m to R338,9m,”

Caxton said.


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