Opus Group has seen its revenue go down 9 per cent in the past half year, from $86.96m in the prior corresponding period (pcp) to $79.2m, with the company citing the net effect of commencing new businesses the years prior, in addition to existing customers spending less on print and focusing more on online publications.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were $9.52m, down 6 per cent from $10.09m in the pcp. The company saw a profit after tax from its continuing operations of $5.7m, up 3 per cent from $5.5m. Operating expenses increased by 8 per cent, to $77.88m in the pcp from $71.42m. Opus says the rise was due to the rest of the synergies of partnering with Lion Rock Group. Other income went up 72 per cent, from $1.01m in the pcp to $1.75m in the last half year.
The company reported steady growth in profit after tax recorded in the core business, book and book-like printing in the niche markets within Australia, despite the reduction in revenue.
EBITDA for the Publishing Services Division was $10.44m, which dropped by 16 per cent from $12.41m in the pcp. The year before the company sold its outdoor media company Cactus Group to oOh!Media, leaving what remained in the Publishing Services Division as its print operation.
[Related: Opus revenue drops, profit grows]
Richard Celarc, chairman for Opus says, “With 2017 being the first full year of the group manufacturing exclusively in Australia and solely for publishing customers, the results are in line with the board expectations. Each of our businesses – Ligare in Sydney, CanPrint in Canberra and McPherson’s Printing in country Victoria- have worked hard to refine core capabilities and consolidate business operations with a continuous improvement mentality. This approach is yielding positive results with steady growth in our bottom line against reduced revenue, and we will continue to work to be at the top of our game. Investment in equipment and technology will continue, and I look forward to enhancing the close working relationships with our key customers and suppliers this year.”
Opus says as publishers are reducing print costs and volumes and looking for speed to the market, it is in the process of upgrading its technology, including an in-house ERP system along with digital print solutions to meet customers’ demand. Opus also expects paper costs will keep increasing, which may add to production costs and dampen the company’s profit margin.
Opus says it is supported by a strong relationship with its Hong Kong listed 75 per cent shareholder, Lion Rock Group Limited, headquartered in Hong Kong and with sales offices in 12 major cities worldwide.
The company plans to adopt a hands-on approach to manage its Publishing Services Division in Australia to improve its cost structure and to be more responsive to opportunity for growth and scale.
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