In 1995, the company realized a net profit of NLG 101.3 million, breaching
the NLG 100 million level for the first time in its history.
The rise in corporate earnings was largely attributable to organic growth
in turnover, which rose from NLG 1,092.6 million in 1994 to NLG 1,151.5
million in 1995, up 5.4%. Factors contributing to the growth in turnover
included advertising income (NLG 40.5 million), paid circulation (NLG 10.8
million) and other activities (NLG 7.6 million).
In 1995, the average number of people employed by the Group was 4,083 in
full-time equivalents. In 1994, the corresponding figure was 4,100. Turnover
per employee increased from NLG 266,500 in 1994 to NLG 282,000 in 1995.
The increase of paper prices was the most important factor affecting costs.
After a few years of decline, the market trend reversed in 1995 and newsprint
prices were raised at first on 1 January and again on 1 July 1995. As a
result of the abolition of the collective Sickness Benefits Act on 1 March
1996, employers are obliged to finance a so-called 'residual commitment'
in respect of those employees who fell ill during the period 1 March 1995
to 1 March 1996. At the end of 1995, a provision was set up to cover this
Depreciation of fixed tangible assets again decreased as some assets had
reached their residual value. Contrary to previous years, book profits or
losses realized on the sale of inventory are offset against depreciation.
Up to 1995 they were stated as items of extraordinary revenue or expenditure.
The increase in depreciation of intangible assets relates to a residual
item of goodwill relating to a door-to-door paper that was taken off the
market in 1996. This item of goodwill was wholly charged to 1995.
Operating profit increased from NLG 123.8 million in 1994 to NLG 135.4 million
in 1995, up 9.4%.
The balance of financial revenue and charges increased from NLG 14.4 million
in 1994 to NLG 19.3 million in 1995. The company's ample liquidity generated
higher income notwithstanding a continued decline in interest rates. The
dividend received from Wegener N.V., including the net asset value of the
dividend received in certificates, is also stated under this heading.
The pre-tax result from ordinary trading rose by 11.9% from NLG 138.2 million
in 1994 to NLG 154.7 million in 1995.
The corporate tax rate again increased as a result of a further reduction
in the release from the investment facilities equalization account.
The after-tax result from ordinary trading increased from NLG 91.5 million
in 1994 to NLG 101.0 million in 1995.
The balance of extraordinary items improved from NLG 0.1 million negative
in 1994 to NLG 0.3 million positive in 1995.
After extraordinary items, net profit increased by 10.8%, from NLG 91.4
million in 1994 to NLG 101.3 million in 1995. Net earnings per share of
NLG 4.00 par value rose from NLG 13.93 in 1994 to NLG 15.44 in 1995.
The cash flow in 1995 amounted to NLG 191.8 million, as compared with NLG
184.6 million in 1994.
The goodwill paid on the acquisition of participating interests is written
off against the result over a maximum period of five years. This policy
applies to acquisitions relating to the company's core activity: the publication
of daily newspapers, magazines and door-to-door papers. The technical production
of these printed media is also considered a core activity. In 1995 and 1996,
the company acquired participating interests outside these core activities:
in electronic media such as Planet Internet, commercial television such
as SBS6 and Sport 7 (a new Dutch Sports Channel). The goodwill paid on the
acquisition of these interests is charged direct to shareholders' equity.
Consequently, depreciation of goodwill arising from these new developments
is not stated in the profit and loss account.
If proven successful, these electronic activities may also become core activities.
After the addition of NLG 65.9 million to the other reserves, as proposed
in the appropriation of net income, and the addition to the statutory reserves
as a result of the increase in the shareholders' equity of Wegener N.V.
and the write-down of the goodwill paid on the acquisition of a participating
interest in Planet Internet, shareholders' equity amounted to NLG 789.1
million at year-end 1995. At the end of 1994, shareholders' equity amounted
to NLG 722.4 million. Shareholders' equity per share of NLG 4.00 par value
rose from NLG 110.08 at year-end 1994 to NLG 120.25 on 31 December 1995.
At year-end 1995, there were 3,022,867 share certificates outstanding, representing
46.1% of the issued share capital. At the end of 1994, the number of share
certificates was 200 higher.
We propose a cash dividend of NLG 5.40 per share of NLG 4.00 par value.
This represents a distribution percentage of 35.0%.
In 1994, a dividend of NLG 5.00 per share was paid out, accounting for 35.9%
of the net profit.
Increase in scale
In 1995, there was a concerted effort to effect an increase in scale and
to broaden and innovate the company. This was achieved by:
- The acquisition of a 30% interest in Planet Internet.
- The takeover on 1 January 1996 of the special-interest magazines Elegance,
MAN, OOR, Hitkrant, Residence and Autovisie.
- The company-developed Telegraaf-i (De Telegraaf on-line), which was introduced
on Internet on 6 February 1996.
- The 30% interest in the Dutch commercial TV-station SBS6, agreement on
which was reached on 21 March 1996.
- Collaboration with US West, Philips and Perscombinatie/Meulenhoff in the
take-over of the Amsterdam cable network. Following the withdrawal of Perscombinatie/Meulenhof,
collaboration will centre on publishing activities.
Unsuccessful efforts included:
- Acquisition of the license for the second GSM network in the Netherlands.
The consortium was liquidated.
- The bid made in combination with Wegener and ABN AMRO for Nederlandse
Dagbladunie B.V., publisher of the Algemeen Dagblad and NRC Handelsblad
and other publications.
The environment and investment
The environmental policy incepted a few years ago was intensified; permits
were obtained where necessary. A survey was made of the company's energy
In 1995, investments were made in the further computerization of the production
process and links between the various operations. The groundwork was laid
for major investments to be realized in the coming years:
In Amsterdam, the need for more office space will be met through the construction
of a new office building adjacent to the present main building. It will
accommodate around six hundred work stations. The construction work will
be contracted out in 1996 and the building will be ready for occupation
in the course of 1998.
In Heerlen, a new rotary offset press will be installed as a replacement
on the premises of the Limburgs Dagblad. The press will become operational
by the end of 1998.
The newspaper press in Alkmaar (Hollandse Dagbladcombinatie B.V.) will be
upgraded. Virtually the whole expansion can be housed in the present building.
Construction is expected to take about two years.
In Maarssen (Biegelaar en Jansen B.V.), an investment will be made in digital
engraving in 1996/1997.
These projected investments have been budgeted at NLG 175 million. Payment
will be spread over the construction/installation period and financed from
Paid circulation of De Telegraaf rose by 5,000 to 756,400 as at 30 September
1995, up 0.7%. Growth of De Telegraaf in terms of volume again exceeded
that of other daily newspapers; this year, growth was also stronger than
that recorded for the market as a whole. Paid circulation of De Courant
Nieuws van de Dag remained unchanged at 56,000, so that the joint paid circulation
of De Telegraaf/De Courant Nieuws van de Dag reached a level of 813,000.
As at 30 September 1995, paid circulation of all Dutch newspapers, on aggregate,
remained almost static at 4,752,169, an increase of 595 compared with the
year-earlier figure. Including the regional newspapers published by subsidiaries,
the group's share in total paid circulation came to 24.3%.
The advertising turnover of De Telegraaf/De Courant Nieuws van de Dag went
up 11.2% to NLG 324.4 million in 1995 owing to higher volume, rate increases
and the use of colours by advertisers. The advertising volume of De Telegraaf
expanded by 6.4%, partly owing to the categories of national brands and
services, personnel and classified ads.
The advertising volume of the national dailies, on aggregate, rose by 5.8%.
The market share of De Telegraaf increased by 0.1% to 30.5% in 1995.
The advertising volume of De Courant Nieuws van de Dag increased by 3.7%.
The gross advertising turnover of all daily newspapers combined rose by
an estimated 6.5%, to NLG 1,631 million. The group's share in this amounted
On 1 January 1996, advertising rates were raised collectively by 4%
In 1995, De Telegraaf made a successful bid for the special-interest magazines
offered by Reed Elsevier. They were incorporated into De Telegraaf Tijdschriften
Groep B.V. on 1 January 1996. The 63 staff members were employed by the
group. The newly-acquired magazines will use the facilities offered by the
group for its supporting activities, thus realizing the greatest possible
Interest loss as a result of the group's self-financing of the purchase
sum, and the paid goodwill to be written down over a five-year period, will
continue to exceed the contribution to the group result for some time to
In March 1996, the group decided to continue collaboration with TROS TV
regarding the publication of TrosKompas and TV-krant. From 1 January 1997,
operation of these magazines will be continued in the form of a joint partnership,
which will also engage in new multimedia activities. The paid circulation
of TrosKompas fell slightly, which was amply offset by the growth of TV-krant.
Competition stiffened on the entertainment magazine market. Privé maintained
its leading position in this segment.
In 1996 the package of sports magazines (Surf Magazine, Tennis Magazine,
Hockey Magazine, Voetbal, and Body & Beauty) was increased with Volleybal
Magazine, publication of which also takes place in collaboration with the
Sports Federation in question.
The turnover of the door-to-door papers operating independently since 1
January 1995 in the western part of the country increased by 8.7%. The result
fell slightly, mainly as a consequence of the very substantial rise in the
price of paper. The printing works belonging to this group, Hollandse Huis-aan-huisbladencombinatie
B.V., flourished in 1995 owing to the commercial order portfolio, growth
of the Sunday papers, which are published for strategic reasons, and the
printing work provided by the group itself.
The TV/radio activities mainly consist of the local radio station Radio
Amsterdam, the Cable TV information service in Amsterdam, and a number of
information (06) telephone lines. This capacity is also used for editorial
and commercial applications of daily newspapers and magazines.
In 1995, as in 1994, the TV/radio activities made no contribution to the
The changes in the Media Act, currently in preparation, make the involvement
of publishers with future developments of local and regional radio and television
In 1995, a 30% interest was acquired in Planet Internet, a Dutch gateway
to the international Internet. Another development is De Telegraaf-i (the
newspaper on Internet), which was launched on 6 February 1996. These activities
are still in the start-up phase.
In 1995 the result of the Hollandse Dagbladcombinatie B.V., which consists
of Haarlems Dagblad, IJmuider Courant, Leidsch Dagblad and Noordhollands
Dagblad, recorded a considerable increase owing to strict cost control and
a rise in the advertising volumes of all daily newspapers. Overall paid
circulation remain virtually static.
The result of the Limburgs Dagblad concern declined sharply in 1995. This
is chiefly attributable to the falling away of all but the entire printing
order for The Wall Street Journal-Europe and rising paper prices. At the
beginning of 1996, the satellite printing order of the Spanish Sports Daily
Marca was granted to the Limburgs Dagblad, which will offset part of the
loss of the printing order for The Wall Street Journal-Europe. Paid circulation
of the Limburgs Dagblad increased fractionally. The advertising volume rose
The turnover of the rotogravure printing works of Biegelaar en Jansen B.V.
increased by 5%. The result was only fractionally higher partly due to higher
The result of the after-press firm of Franken B.V. was higher than in 1994
owing to an item of extraordinary revenue.
As at 31 December 1995, the participating interest in Wegener N.V. in Apeldoorn
amounted to 1,435,195 certificates, or 23,8% of the issued share capital.
In 1995, 125,500 additional certificates were purchased and the dividend
for 1994 was paid out partly in certificates, 28,141 in total.
The 50% interest in De Talentendatabank did not meet expectations regarding
turnover. Collaboration was therefore terminated on 1 March 1996.
The consortium set up to obtain the concession for the second mobile telephone
network in the Netherlands has been liquidated. In connection with this,
the company received a sum of NLG 49,467.-- , which is carried as an extraordinary
item of revenue. A provision had been set up at the end of 1994.
In 1995, the group acquired a 30% stake in Planet Internet B.V.. This activity
is the Dutch gateway to the international Internet. The organization is
still in the start-up phase.
Negotiations are still under way about the proposed collaboration with A2000,
which has taken over the Amsterdam cable network.
The rise in newspaper advertising volume persisted during the first months
of 1996 in spite of the effect of the cold spell at the beginning of the
year. The growth in circulation is stagnating.
On 1 January 1996, the purchase prices of newsprint for daily newspapers
and door-to-door papers rose slightly. Partly owing to the stock on hand,
the price rise will be reflected in the result with a lag.
The operating result, excluding write-offs in respect of goodwill, developed
well during the first months of 1996. The special-interest magazines acquired
on 1 January supported this trend (even after allowing for loss of interest).
The goodwill paid on the acquisition of the special-interest magazines,
which will be written off over a period of five years, and our share of
the start-up losses expected to be incurred by our participating interests
in commercial TV stations in 1996 are liable to cause a considerable drop
in the 1996 result.
However, this need not affect the company's dividend policy. A one-off dividend
payout ratio of over 40% will be acceptable.
Amsterdam, May 1996
|The Board |
L.G. van Aken
J. Olde Kalter