HT&E Limited (ASX: HT1) is the abbreviation for Here, There & Everywhere. The media and entertainment company is based in Australia. Previously listed as APN News & Media, the company holds outdoor assets in Hong Kong, besides operating audio, radio and digital business across Australia.
On 9th May 2019, Chairman, Hamish McLennan addressed the shareholders in the company’s Annual General Meeting. He said that the demerger of HT&E’s New Zealand assets in 2016 and the sale of out of home business Adshel for $570 million in September last year, was a good start for the company’s three-year transformation plan. A significant outcome to shareholders leading the company to also focus on its integral radio and audio assets business in Australia.
The company’s priority is to continuously provide high-quality, engaging content and broadcast by talent, that’s backed up by the promotion and monetisation.
During the year, ordinary dividends of 7cps, fully franked, were paid, which represents a payout of almost 55% of 2018 NPAT. Post the Adshel sale, an additional special dividend of 72 cps, fully franked, was paid in October. Until 8th May, HT1 bought back almost 23.9 million shares for a total cost of under $40 million, representing 7.7% of issued capital at the time when buyback began. Company’s balance sheet position stood strong with a net cash of $128 million as on 31st December 2018.
The company revived its Board after the retirement and resignation of its previous members and strives to work towards the company’s strategy, direction and culture. The Board foresees the business to be well strategised and financially sound in 2019.
CEO, Ciaran Davis also addressed the shareholders and laid down 2018 results and trading updates. The EBITDA was up 7% to $71.8 million as compared to $66.9 million in the prior corresponding period. The NPAT was up 23% to $36.7 million compared to $29.7 million pcp.
ARN is part of HT1’s radio market and generated a revenue of $235.5 million, up 3% pcp. The Hong Kong Outdoor saw a first profitable full year after 2015, with revenue amounting to $30.9 million.
The gross debt of HT1 in December 2018 was nil. Adshel proceeds of $550 million were used to repay drawn debt, fund $222.4 million special dividend and under $40 million share buyback. The debt facilities have been refinanced mostly to 2023 with a limit of $260 million.
On the trading side, Q1 revenue was approximately 5% behind 2018’s strong comps. The H1 revenue is expected to be 2% to 3% behind the prior year.
The company announced that all resolutions in the company’s 2019 Notice of the AGM were passed in the AGM.
The company also announced issuance of 395,252 performance rights for FY18 to Mr Ciaran Davis. 224,677 additional performance rights will be issued for dividends paid by HT1 in accordance with the FY18 Total Incentive Plan. Currently, the total performance rights granted under the incentive plans are 1,119,514.
Share Price Information:
HT1 stock traded down 0.275% and closed at $1.815 as of 9th May 2019 compared to its previous closing price. In the last six months, the stock has delivered a negative return of 9.00%, while the YTD return stands better at 17.42%.
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