Ooh Media reports ‘significant downturn in revenue’, but says 85% of April/May cancellations have deferred spend till H2

Ooh Media reported a ‘significant downturn in revenue’ at its general meeting with shareholders this morning, but says 85% of clients who would have cancelled in April/May have chosen to defer their spend till H2.

But in lieu of discussing specific figures, the outdoor media company instead chose to focus on the plans it had in place to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, including a successful round of equity raising and over $50m in cost savings across the business.

Speaking to shareholders in what he said would be his final general meeting after announcing plans to step down earlier in 2020, CEO Brendon Cook said the world ‘had changed significantly’ since Ooh released its FY19 results in March.

“For the first quarter of 2020, our revenue was steady with the prior corresponding quarter in 2019. However, as the COVID-19 restrictions started to be implemented from the middle of March, we started to see a significant decline in revenue,” Cook said.

Ooh reported its net profit after tax (NPAT) fell 23% in 2019, down to $37.9m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) dropped 5% to $139.0m – inside the revised forecast the business delivered in 2019. It has removed guidance for FY20.

“Of our original bookings in April/May that advertisers will no longer run campaigns in Q2, around 85% have been deferred to the second half of the year,” said Cook.

“We are starting to see a significant uplift in client briefing activity for Q2/Q3 as advertisers begin looking for opportunities as movement restrictions are eased further.”

A large portion of the savings implemented across Ooh Media come from a voluntary scheme asking workers to reduce their salary and workweek by 20%, which Cook says was adopted by a ‘vasty majority’ of the workforce. Ooh also recently announced a restructure across its business and chief customer officer David Scribner exited the business, in what was positioned as a mutually beneficial decision.

Ooh Media’s cost savings [click to enlarge]

Ooh Media released data earlier in the COVID-19 lockdowns that showed audiences across outdoor advertising had been reduced by 50% due to the restrictions, but has maintained that it remains confident those audiences will swiftly improve shortly after the lockdowns ease.

Alongside the cost savings announcement, Ooh Media’s general meeting saw the business promote an increase in audience across out of home. The sector is enjoying ‘strong audience growth’, says the business, well above the percentage of population growth.

Ooh Media’s audience growth reporting [click to enlarge]


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