The Directors present their strategic report for the year ended 31 December 2015.
REVIEW OF BUSINESS
During 2015 the business has focused on delivering further change and transition to become a digital, multi-platform news and content business with diversified revenue sources and growing profitability. The diversification of revenue sources remains a key objective of the Group.
Turnover from continuing operations of £57.6m was 4% lower than 2014, with declines from traditional sources, albeit partly offset by growth elsewhere. Operating profit was £2.1m and operating profit from continuing operations before goodwill amortisation of £3.9m was 9% higher than 2014.
The final component of the deferred consideration following the sale of MeteoGroup was paid in March 2015, totalling £39m. From the proceeds the Board approved a dividend of £20m, paid to shareholders in April 2015. A further £10m was ring-fenced under the agreement with the Trustees of the PA Pension Fund.
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
The Group works towards a 10% increase in trading profit on budget. The Group does not issue KPI’s of a non-financial nature.
RISK MANAGEMENT AND MITIGATION
Financial risks are actively managed on a Group basis and mitigated by hedging transactions where appropriate. Three specific risks are referenced below.
Customer credit is a risk to the extent that a customer may be unable to pay the debt on the specified due date. This risk is mitigated by the strong on-going customer relationships and for many customers there is a dependency on an ongoing service.
The Group has cash on deposit and has ensured that the funds are held in a spread of money market funds and institutions.
The Group operates a defined benefit pension scheme which is now closed. The Group has agreed a long term plan with the trustees to provide certainty for the group in terms of annual funding requirement and is targeting a full buyout over time to remove all liabilities from the Group.
Non-financial risks, such as business continuity and staff retention, are managed by each business unit with risk registers maintained and regularly reviewed to ensure all key risks are adequately mitigated.
By order of the Board.
24 March 2016