A regional publisher has issued an upbeat trading update this morning after posting a 25pc increase in digital revenues during 2022.
National World says it expects to be able to issue its first dividend this year after revealing that revenues for the full year 2022 are expected to be “not less than £84m.”
In the update, the group says its trading performance was underpinned by “robust digital revenue growth of 25pc” although print revenues were down by 7pc compared with the previous year.
Print advertising revenue was down by 6pc and circulation revenue by 9pc, reflecting “subdued consumer
confidence in the UK economy because of rising inflation and interest rates.”
National World chairman David Montgomery, pictured, said: “We have accelerated the Group’s transformation into a premium content and sales business across all platforms in 2022.
“We continue to launch new products, invest in organic growth, enhance heritage assets and streamline our infrastructure to create further efficiencies.
“Management is pursuing opportunities to build scale and enhance shareholder value through targeted investments and acquisitions. Two online content acquisitions completed at the end of 2022, Scoopdragon and Newschain, have immediately increased National World’s online audience by over 10 per cent.
“We look ahead into 2023 with confidence given our rapidly evolving operating model to restore revenue growth and we maintain our expectations for the Group’s performance.”
The group’s cash balance increased by £4m to £27m at the end of 2022 after delivering cost savings of £4m during the year.
The update said: “The strength of group performance, current outlook and prospects has enabled the board to consider the company’s dividend policy and the board expects to propose and recommend a maiden dividend
in conjunction with the release of its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2022 on 16 March 2023.”
Looking ahead to 2023, the group is promising “further technological enhancements to deepen engagement with customers across a wider content agenda. This will be accompanied by the launch of new products for advertisers to attract sustainable, long-term revenues.”
Despits short-lived bid to take over larger rival Reach plc, the group says it will also continue to pursue acquisition opportunities, “primarily targeting businesses that will enhance the Group’s digital capability.”