Norway's Findexa 1Q Net Profit NOK23 Million

Findexa Ltd., the Norwegian directories business set to debut this week on the Oslo Stock Exchange, announced late Friday its financial results for the first quarter to March 31.

Findexa Ltd., the Norwegian directories business set to debut this week on the Oslo Stock Exchange, announced late Friday its financial results for the first quarter to March 31.

Findexa reported net profit in the quarter of NOK23 million, compared to a net loss of NOK118 million in the first quarter of 2003.

First quarter 2004 group operating revenue was NOK497 million, down 3% from first quarter of 2003. Adjusted for timing differences and voice revenues generated by Telefonkatalogen 1880, revenue was flat compared to the first quarter of 2003.

Average daily usage of Gule Sider print has increased significantly, up 36% from first quarter 2003. Gule Sider brand usage (including print and internet) had an increase in usage of 47% from first quarter of 2003. In addition, internet-specific revenues grew significantly and were up 21% for the quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2003.

Cost of materials and printing was NOK35 million (7% of revenue) for the quarter, compared to NOK41 million for first quarter 2003. Adjusted for timing differences, the reduction was 11%.

This was driven by directory layout improvements and reduced volumes. Furthermore, the relatively higher share of internet revenues positively impacted the ratio.

Salaries, personnel costs and other expenses for the first quarter of 2004 were NOK 191 million. Adjusted for timing differences, this was at approximately the same level as for the first quarter of 2003 with the increase arising from the acquisition of Telefonkatalogen 1880 being offset by the continued decrease in spending in our core business. The main drivers of the decrease in the operating expenses of our core business were improvements in bad debt, cost of premises and other operating costs.

EBITDA was NOK 271 million for the first quarter of 2004, at the same level as the first quarter 2003. Adjusted for timing differences and voice revenues, EBITDA for the first quarter of 2004 increased 5% over the first quarter of 2003. Adjusted EBITDA margin was 56% for the first quarter of 2004 compared to 53% for the same quarter in 2003.

Cash position at the end of the first quarter 2004 was NOK 518 million.

These results, coupled with good forward visibility, reinforce the board's intention to deliver the expected full year 2004 cash distribution of NOK580 million to shareholders.