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Guardian Media Ltd (GML) recorded profit after tax of $33.9 million for the period ended December 31, 2014. In her report at the media group’s annual general meeting at the Radisson Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, managing director Lisa Agard told shareholders GML had “mixed”results during the financial year despite investments in content and people.
“Our print division earned $2.9 million or 2.5 per cent less revenue than the prior year. The election impact would have largely contributed to this,” she said. Agard said the loss in revenue in the print division “was compensated by $2.3 million or 2.3 per cent increase in revenue from our electronic media divisions.”
She added: “Our investments in people, talent and content, including rights to the Caribbean Premier League Cricket, contributed to the company’s ability to sustain in 2014 the revenue levels earned in 2013. These initiatives are expected to generate increased yield and revenue in 2015 and beyond.”
Agard told shareholders GML’s revenue has been trending upward over the last five years, growing from $187 million in 2010, to $209 million last year, with further growth anticipated for 2015. “Content and people remain the core drivers of our business. The company continues to invest in attracting the best talent and delivering programming that grows our market share.
“However, higher operating costs were incurred in 2014 as a consequence of those investments resulting in reduction of our profit before tax from $58.8 million in 2013 to $44.6 million in 2014 and a consequential decrease in profit before tax margins from 28 per cent to 21 per cent. These declines are expected to reverse in 2015,” she said.
The annual report shows that GML had cash at bank and on hand of $13 million, $41.6 million in its income fund and $56.2 million in its mutual fund Chairman Grenfell Kissoon said investments in assets during the financial year included the acquisition of the FM frequency 99.5FM. “During the year we invested over $18.3 million in facilities, plant and equipment, and approximately $5.8 million in the acquisition of a concession to upgrade Radio Trinidad 730 AM to the FM band,” he said.
Kissoon said GML’s balance sheet position remained “solid,” since net assets grew to $316.2 million compared to $311.8 million the previous year—an increase of $4.4 million. Speaking after the release of the company’s annual report, he said: “I have indicated to the shareholders that we have had an excellent first quarter performance, which means that the measures that we put in 2014, is beginning to bear fruit. We are optimistic about the prospects for 2015.”
Commenting on the relocation of GML’s print division to Chaguanas, Kissoon said: “We did an economic evaluation and determined that it was a better interest overall from the point of view of efficiency and from the point of view of economy.”
Taken from: Trinidad Guardian
Story by: Nadaleen Singh
Date: Thursday 28th May, 2015