iSentia makes 6 redundant as market value hits new low

Media monitoring company iSentia has made six redundancies and a number of staff changes to its commercial team as its share price and market value plummet.

A statement from the company said that the redundancies and subsequent promotions in the Australian and New Zealand Commercial division were “in line with the automation of client services, including the broadcast transformation program,” and as a result “some manual processing roles aren’t required”.

Harrison, CEO of Isentia

iSentia’s market capitalisation is down to approximately $13.34 million, according to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with a share price of $0.068 to $0.070. This is in stark contrast to its former value of close to $1 billion in December 2015 ($986 million) and a share price of $5.00 in the corresponding period. It was during that time that the business purchased the failed King Content.

In the past three years, its half year revenue has dropped from $67 million in the first half FY2018, to $41.8 million in its most recently reported half for the six months to 31 December 2020.

The company’s revenue for the first half of the current financial year was impacted by a cyber incident in October 2020, creating an estimated $4.4 million impact on earnings before interest and taxes, and $3.3 million in revenue, according to the financial report.

That amount is expected to rise to $7-$8 million for the full financial year results. iSentia does not report quarterly financial earnings.

During the first half of financial year 2021, iSentia refinanced the bank loan facilities with the Commonwealth bank of Australia (CBA). This equated to a three-year $46.6 million loan facility including $33.5 million amortising facility, a $12 million revolving cash advance, a $1.1 million revolving working capital, letter of credit and bank guarantee facility and ancillary facility. Under the facility, iSentia is required to repay a principal amount of $750,000 per quarter, with the first repayment on 30 June 2021.

As a result of the cyber incident, CBA has reset iSentia’s banking covenants to 31 March 2022. “However, there is limited headroom in the group’s forecast covenant compliance, and a failure to meet its forecasts may result in a covenant breach,” according to the financial reports.

In terms of the staff movement, the changes see Brigitte Guerin promoted to head of client solutions for Australia. She was previously responsible only for NSW and Queensland. John Bissinella has been promoted to head of sales operations, while Dave Otto expands his oversight in the new role of client solutions director for central west region (SA, NT & WA).

“All of the changes announced yesterday are designed to enhance the client experience for current and future customers,” the statement added.

Last month the iSentia board saw Abigail Cheadle resign as an independent non-executive director after just two years. She has been replaced by Peter George, executive chairman of ASX-listed Retail Food Group and previously managing director of PMP Limited from 2012-2017. He also previously served as non-executive director and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for Asciano Limited, executive chairman of Nylex Limited and was a member of the Optus Communications Board.


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