Time Out shares fall after COVID-19 profit warning

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Global media and leisure publisher Time Out Group’s shares fell more than 13% to 45.5p after it warned the coronavirus outbreak would have a significant impact on trading.

The firm made the announcement as it reported a narrowing full year operating loss of £13.8m for the last year.

Time Out results

The London-listed company said year-on-year growth continued with gross revenue increasing by 58% to £77.1m. Net revenue rose by 30% to £63.3m, driven by Time Out Market expansion.

Group adjusted earnings before tax and other costs were in line with expectations, with a 42% year-on-year improvement to a £4.7m loss.

This the firm said came despite a year of significant investment in Time Out Market cost base.

Social media growth

The Group’s global brand audience increased by 18% to a monthly average of 63.2m. This was primarily driven by growth in social media channels.

Time Out Market net revenue grew by 158% to £23.2m, driven by a combination of Lisbon’s continued progress (7% growth); and the opening of five new markets in North America.

But its future progress has been severely hampered by the coronavirus outbreak.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on trading with the temporary closure of all six Time Out Markets and a slowing of advertising revenues”, it said in a stock market statement.

“Given the material uncertainty of the situation it is not currently possible to quantify the full trading impact of the outbreak.

The group has cash reserves of £11.4m, as at 29 February 2020 and an undrawn debt facility of £18m; alongside various cost mitigations and other available options.

Time In rebrand

Time Out CEO Julio Bruno said: “We are responding quickly to these unprecedented times with a temporary “Time In” rebrand; a launch of an e-version of the magazine; complementing our online digital content; a review of the operating structure and preserving our cash position.

“We are in the process of assessing the potential financial impact, which will be highly dependent on the duration of the outbreak; coupled with the response from governments and consumers alike.

“However, in the meantime, our primary concern is the wellbeing and safety of our employees, their families, our guests, concessionaires and their teams.”