The total operating income of Vocento during 1H21 they were 168.6 million euros, an increase of 3% over 1H20. All the revenue headings have shown positive growth in 2Q21, placing the Group on the path of recovery of preCovid levels 2019. Likewise, operating expenses without amortization amounted to 152.6 million euros during 1H21, 3% less than in 1H20.
The readership margin (margin of sale of copies + digital subscriptions) improved by 2.8 million euros in 1H21 vs 1H20, and by 2.4 million euros compared to the first half of 2019, exceeding the goal of maintaining profitability in 2019. The improvement is supported by the growth in the number of paid digital subscribers, which increased 25% to 78,000 in June, bringing the total number of subscribers to 92,000, close to the 100,000 target set for the end of 2021.
Vocento closed 1H21 with a 6% increase vs. 1H20 in advertising sales revenue, thanks to the 25% recovery experienced in the second quarter of 2021. The Group performed better than the market during 1H21 vs 1H19: in offline press Vocento closes with -30% compared to -34% of the market, and in online advertising Vocento rises to + 2.9% and the market closes negative with -0.1%.
The evolution of advertising revenue in the Group differs according to its local or national origin. Local advertising stabilizes in the first half of this year, while the national, with a greater weight of digital, grows 14.8%. Also considering e-commerce revenues, counted within other revenues, the digital weight over total advertising reaches 50.5%, which represents an increase of 6 percentage points over the first six months of 2020.
EBITDA in the first half of this year amounts to 16.0 million euros, which compares with 6.6 million euros in the first half of 2020. Even taking into account the compensation for 1H20 (4.3 million euros), the improvement represents 46.4% more than in 1H20. These data reflect the strategy promoted by the Group to recover the preCovid levels of 2019. In this context, salary review agreements have been concluded that allow the company's structure to be adjusted to the current level of business activity.
The operating result (EBIT) in 1H21 reached 16.8 million euros, which represents an increase of 20.0 million euros over 1H20. Said growth is explained by the operating improvement in EBITDA and the positive result of the sale of the headquarters of El Diario Vasco, whose divestment has had a positive result of 10.6 million euros.
The ordinary cash generation in 1H21 it amounted to 15.0 million euros, compared to 6.6 million in 1H20 and 14.7 million in 1H19. The net financial debt position (NFP) is -36.8 million euros at the end of 1H21, or -17.1 million euros ex IFRS16, resulting in a Net Financial Debt / EBITDA LTM ex IFRS 16 ratio of 0.5x.
Results by business areas
In Newspapers, operating income grew to 134.3 million euros during 1H21, which represents an increase of 1.6% compared to 1H20. Comparable EBITDA amounted to 14.2 million euros, 72% more than in 1H20.
The ABC EBITDA During 1H21 it was supported by the growth of advertising and the readership margin, which offset the worse evolution of the printing activity. The Supplements and Magazines EBITDA improves thanks to the progressive recovery of events such as WomenNow or Turium.
The evolution of the profitability of Regional This is due to the increase in advertising revenues, the improvement in the overall readership margin and the recovery of the printing and distribution margin, placing the comparable EBITDA for 1H21 at 12.5 million euros, 38% more than in 1H20 .
In Audiovisual, operating income reached 14.6 million euros during 1H21, which represents 3.9% less than in 1H20. Comparable EBITDA stands at 4.5 million euros, compared to 4.7 million in 1H20. This decrease is explained by the lower activity in the distribution of Contents.
In Classifieds, operating income amounted to 12.2 million euros, a 13% increase compared to 1H20. Thus, the comparable EBITDA in 1H21 grows + 22% compared to 1H20, reaching 2.4 million euros, due to the progressive recovery of activity in the motor and real estate segments.
In Gastronomy and Agencies, operating income grew to 9.6 million euros, 29% more than in 1H20. EBITDA in 1H21 was 0.8 million euros, which represents an increase of 33% vs. 1H20.
After the in-person celebration in 1H21 of the Madrid Fusión congress, the Gastronomy area grew by 31% over the same period last year. Within the division of Agencies and Others, Activity is progressively recovering and a large part of it is expected to be concentrated in Q4.