Ooh Media’s Cathy O’Connor rewarded with bonus as company bounced back in 2021CY

Ooh Media managing director and CEO Cathy O’Connor has taken home a total salary of $1,772,198 for the 2021 calendar year, with 27% of her earnings composed of performance based payments, as the OOH media company rounded out the year with strong financial results.

According to Ooh Media’s 2021 Annual Report, O’Connor’s base salary sat at $1,259,482 plus superannuation, with a further $285,900 and $190,432 worth of bonus attributed to short term and long term incentives, respectively.

Cathy O’Connor, CEO, Ooh Media

The bonuses reflect what was a successful calendar year for Ooh Media, after a significant drop in revenue during the 2020 calendar year thanks to the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its’ ASX announcement yesterday, the OOH media company stated it had successfully leveraged the continuing recovery of OOH audiences, delivering an 18% lift in revenue to $503.7 million compared to the previous year.

The OOH media company points to the diversity of its assets across a range of OOH formats as the reason Ooh was able to deliver the revenue uplift despite substantial lockdowns in Q3 CY21 and early Q4, with some formats (fly, office and rail) continuing to be impacted by the pandemic.

Ooh reported an increase of 24% to underlying EBITDA to $77.6 million, up from $63.2 million in CY20, and gross profit was also up 23%, an increase of $222 million on the previous year.

Net debt dropped 43% to $63.5 million and net profit after tax was $0.8 million, compared to an net loss after tax of $24.3 million in the previous year.

In terms of Ooh’s products, street furniture and rail (previously commute) increased by 23% but continue to be impacted by passenger declines in Sydney and Melbourne due to the pandemic, road was up by 34%, and retail grew by 18%. Fly saw continued impacts from COVID-19, declining 46%, though the re-opening of borders resulted in stronger performances towards the end of the year. Locate was also continued to be affected by movement restrictions and working from home during the year.

Other revenue attributed to Ooh Media represents the contributions of Junkee Media and Cactus Imaging, which was $14 million.

Cathy O’Connor said that despite the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 Ooh was able to leverage audience recovery across its’ key OOH formats.

“The diversity and breadth of our assets across a range of formats ensured Ooh was able to deliver this improved performance despite some formats (fly, office, rail) continuing to be impacted by the pandemic.

“This market leading position across Australia and New Zealand also means we remain exceptionally well position to leverage the full market recovery as audiences return across all formats to generate strong medium term growth.”

Commenting on Ooh’s financial results O’Connor said:

“Total revenue for CY21 increased by 18% to $504.3 million. This increase reflects the continued recovery in returning to pre-COVID revenue levels with CY21 revenue approach 78% of CY19.

“Underlying EBITDA (pre-AASB16) increased by 24% to $77.6 million, demonstrating the company’s operating leverage to audience growth to generate earnings growth at a faster rate than revenue.

“Ooh’s financial position continued to strengthen with the company’s gearing ratio reducing to 0.8 time at 31 December 2021, compared to 1.8 time for the prior year with a corresponding 43% reduction in net debt to $64 million.”

O’Connor added, “Given the company’s return to profitability (pre AASB16) and improved financial position, the board approved a resumption f dividend payments to shareholders, declaring a final dividend of 1 cent per share, fully franked.”

“While some of our formats remain impacted by the pandemic, we enter 2022 in a strong competitive position with a clear and focused strategy to leverage the growth of Out of Home and our market leading asset portfolio to deliver enhanced returns to shareholders.”


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