Are Schibsted's corporate bylaws dragging down its share price?
Good stuff, provided Mecom avoids "labour unrest"...

Berlingske should be grateful for Mecom-ownership

Although it is the worst performing 'Mecom-country', the changes wrought in 2007, has put Berlingske Officin, Mecom's Danish arm, ahead of competition in the Danish market.

At least according to Henrik Schultz, a media analyst at Kaupthing, who follows Scandinavian media companies closely. "Montgomery has performed much better than previous owners, and implemented sensible and necessary restructuring. If the market should deteriorate, Berlingske is in a much better position to deal with it now, and that's thanks to Montgomery," he told after Mecom presented its preliminary results for 2007 yesterday.

It's worth keeping in mind that Berlingske also was Orkla's Achilles heel when they owned the company. In an informal conversation, a Norwegian union representative once described the situation in Berlingske when Orkla bought it in terms that made it sound very similar to The Mirror in the seventies (in contrast to Norway, this person said, where staffing already "had been cut to the bone"). That said, there is a lot of unease within Berlingske Officin about the current restructuring.

But back to those results. When I talked to Schultz early yesterday, he said Mecom's overall results were "a good step towards something better: decent, but not impressive when we know the results come at the top of a period of good trade". He supported his argument by how the share didn't exactly "go through the roof", but had improved modestly when we talked (at which point it was up 1.25 pence. At the end of the day, it closed up 4.25 pence at 29.75 pence). He said investor disappointment is a huge risk for the company, which he previously has said will struggle to deliver the profits they've promised short term, although he is quite positive about the long term prospects.

Mecom's preliminary annual results for 2007 were slightly ahead of expectations. "Mecom said its adjusted pretax profit before exceptional items and amortisation in the year to end-December was 53 million pounds. The company was forecast to make pretax profit before amortisation and exceptional charges of 49.50 million pounds, inside a 46.7-52.4 million range, according to poll of four analysts polled by Reuters Estimates" (follow the link for the key figures, full results here)


The comments to this entry are closed.