Foreword of the Board of Directors

The Medialaan acquisition will make it possible in Belgium to build up a single new media company, where the publishing and the audiovisual activities are integrated with a view to the digital transformation of De Persgroep.

The Medialaan acquisition will make it possible in Belgium to build up a single new media company, where the publishing and the audiovisual activities are integrated with a view to the digital transformation of De Persgroep.

Foreword of the Board of Directors

On behalf of the Board of Directors of De Persgroep, I have the pleasure of presenting to you the consolidated accounts for the financial year 2017.

In the absence of significant acquisitions during the financial year, the results are in line with the record year 2016: for example, operating income remained stable at 1,447 million euros (-0.6%), and the group´s financial performance also remained at a high level, with an operating cash flow of 216 million euros (-4%), an operating profit of 157 million euros (-4%) and a net current profit of 109 million euros (-6%).

The most striking event of the past year is unquestionably the agreement that was reached in the fall with Roularta Media Group. After having been successful partners for two decades, De Persgroep is buying Roularta´s fifty percent interest in Medialaan, and it is selling to Roularta its fifty percent interest in Mediafin. However, this double transaction is not yet reflected in the 2017 annual accounts. Given the competition-law approval procedures, the Medialaan transaction was completed at the end of January 2018, that of Mediafin only in mid-March.

The acquisition of one hundred percent of Medialaan will have a significant impact on the accounts of De Persgroep. While over the past two financial years the net financial debt remained limited to 21 million euros, this will now increase by a good 200 million euros, which entails a debt ratio vis-à-vis the operating cash flow of slightly more than 1.0.

But above all, this acquisition will make it possible in Belgium to build up a single new media company, where the publishing and the audiovisual activities are integrated with a view to the digital transformation of De Persgroep.

The Board trusts that this integration too will prove a success, thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of our group´s employees. On behalf of the Board I wish to thank the nearly 5,000 employees in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark for the passion with which they are shaping De Persgroep’s future every day.

Ludwig Criel
Chairman of the Board of Directors

© 2017 - 2018 De Persgroep
Made with passion @Comfi
© 2017 - 2018 De Persgroep
Made with passion @Comfi