Ebiquity plc, a leading independent marketing and media consultancy, announces a pre-close trading update for the financial year ended 31 December 2018, ahead of the preliminary results announcement planned for 25 March 2019.
Ebiquity’s trading for the year ended 31 December 2018 was in line with the Board’s expectations. Both the continuing business, comprising Media, Analytics and Tech, and the Advertising Intelligence business whose sale to Nielsen Media Research Limited (“Nielsen”) was completed on 2 January 2019, performed as anticipated. The company’s net debt which stood at £28 million as at 31 December 2018 has been reduced as a result of the sale by approximately £20 million (after allowing for taxation and transaction costs).
Following the disposal of the advertising Intelligence business, Ebiquity is focussing as planned on becoming the global, leading independent marketing and media consultancy. The continuing consultancy businesses achieved revenue growth of 8% in 2018 and the Board is targeting a similar growth rate in the current year. In addition to driving revenue growth, the Company’s recently strengthened management team will continue to concentrate on delivering scale benefits and operational alignment across the more focussed business. In the short term however, the Company’s cost base will continue to reflect the need to fulfil contractual obligations to provide support services to Nielsen in relation to the disposed business. Therefore, the Board expects profitability for the continuing consultancy businesses in the current year to remain at a similar level to the year just ended.
Ebiquity believes it has significant market opportunities through its ability to respond to areas of growing importance to advertisers and to exploit current fundamental shifts in the marketplace. These include an increased focus on data-driven, evidence-based marketing; growing demand for media transparency; greater scrutiny of digital media investments; and understanding of the heightened complexity in advertising technology and data.
Ebiquity is planning to hold a capital markets day in the early summer.
Michael Karg, CEO, commented: “We are pleased to have completed the sale of the Advertising Intelligence business to Nielsen after a protracted process in 2018. We look forward to continuing to drive growth globally in our core consulting business in Media, Analytics and Tech. The Group’s management team is now focussed on seizing the significant market opportunities as well as on aligning our business following the divestiture.”