HT&E boss hits out at ‘untruths’ about Adshel business

Here, There & Everywhere’s CEO Ciaran Davis has addressed what he claims are ‘untruths spoken’ about out-of-home business Adshel, and addressed the maturity of its contract profile, taking a jab at out-of-home rivals in the process.

The chief executive took the opportunity at the Annual General Meeting to discuss Adshel’s Metro Trains Melbourne contract, which it renewed earlier this year and the loss of the Yarra Trams contract to JC Decaux.

CEO Ciaran Davis addressed the ‘truths unspoken’ at this morning’s AGM

“There have been some untruths spoken about Adshel in recent times, particularly about its presence in Melbourne, and I’d like to take the opportunity to address this today.

“From April 1st we took over the running of the Metro Trains Melbourne contract, creating a new estate of over 150 screens. These screens are located at key Melbourne CBD and inner-city railway stations, including Flinders Street, Melbourne Central, Richmond, Parliament and South Yarra, connecting with 4.3m commuters each week,” Davis said.

“And when combined with our Sydney Trains contract, which we recently extended, our Adshel Rail packages delivers a new way to engage over 14m commuters each week. Our sales teams are now in market actively selling this unique and highly attractive bundle”.

Davis did not name specific companies in relation to the ‘untruths’.

However earlier this year, the boss of Adshel’s biggest direct rival, APN Outdoor James Warburton used his first public appearance to contrast his organisation’s predictable outlook to his rivals, saying that unlike others APN Outdoor had a “low at risk renewal”.

And last year, JC Decaux’s chairman and co-CEO Jean-Francois Decaux, also pointed out the Yarra Trams win would allow the company to double the size of its operations.

In light of his comments, Davis said Adshel was the leading out of home business in Melbourne and went on to address the contract maturity profile.

“Adshel has a very disciplined approach to landlord management and contract renewal, and we have a team dedicated to this very activity,” he said.

“Since we lost Yarra Trams, we have either retained, won or are in the process of renewing more than 80% of Adshel’s existing 2018 contracts. The balance are either awaiting decisions or are subject to tender. No contracts have been lost.”

Davis said there is only one other contract up for renewal for the business, namely Brisbane City Council.

Of the Yarra Trams loss, Davis said: “The set back of Yarra Trams in late 2017 was quickly addressed by management, who have re-grouped effectively to obtain the right approvals from partners and authorities, and quickly re-establish a national digital network with 41 digital screens up and running in Victoria since April.”

Mumbrella understands Adshel has put out an expression of interest for the City of Sydney tender, which is currently underway.

The comments come two weeks after Adshel launched time, day, location trading. Davis said the future of street furniture went well beyond its contract and screens.

“We are leading with investments in technology platforms and data that enable us to transition to a new sales approach,” Davis said of the new trading model.

“Two weeks ago, Adshel launched TDL – Time/Day/Location – across the entire Adshel Live network; a first in Australian out-of-home.

“This precise targeting capability comes at a price and we are charging a premium, on top of the premium we are charging for digital screens.”

Davis did not make any comments about the rejected non-binding off from Ooh Media.

His presentation follows Adshel’s fiscal year 2017 results, which saw revenue climb by 7.5% to $222m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $51m.

But he did take the opportunity to tell shareholders HT&E had successfully restructured itself, eliminating “exposure to traditional newspapers” and focusing on ‘away from home’ segments, radio and outdoor.

He also said the company was well underway with its investment in esports business,  signing a Hoyts partnership, bringing Dell on board as presenting partner and Logitech as sponsor of its professional series.


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