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CORRECTED-Publisher Mecom estimates higher full-year core profit
January 14, 2014 / 8:52 AM / 4 years ago

CORRECTED-Publisher Mecom estimates higher full-year core profit

(Corrects paragraph 7 to say the company cut net debt by, and not to, about 91 million euros)

Jan 14 (Reuters) - European publishing company Mecom Group Plc estimated full-year core earnings well above its forecast, saying that a decline in advertising revenue had stabilised in the Netherlands and Denmark in the third quarter.

Mecom said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) would be about 87 million euros ($119 million) for the year ended Dec. 31. It had earlier estimated core earnings of between 70 million euros and 80 million euros.

Mecom shares jumped 17 percent to 110 pence, making it one of the top gainers on the London Stock Exchange.

“Whilst advertising revenue declines have abated somewhat from the levels experienced in the first half of the year, the Group does not expect further improvement in the short-term from the rates of decline experienced in the second half of 2013,” the company said in a statement.

Mecom has been selling assets and cutting jobs and costs to ease the impact of sliding advertising rates across all its markets.

The company, which publishes regional newspapers such as De Gelderlander and De Stentor in the Netherlands, said it expects the closure of a print plant in the Netherlands to boost earnings in 2014.

Mecom said the sale of assets made during 2013 helped cut net debt by about 91 million euros. Total operating costs fell 12 percent during the year, about 100 million euros lower than a year earlier.

$1 = 0.7324 euros Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane

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