Perform Group Aims To Cut Costs After 2013 Decline

performSports media group Perform in 2103 confirmed earnings per share fell seven per cent in 2013, but said it has plans in place to address its problems.

Despite revenues growing 37% to £208.1bn, helped by the acquisitions of sports data experts Opta and Perform Sporting News, a swollen cost base and weak second-half advertising market saw a 3% slide in adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to £36.4m, with adjusted pre-tax profits slipping 14% to £26m.

Joint Chief Executive Oliver Slipper admitted the financial performance in 2013 was ‘disappointing’ and explained that the performance in the second half, notably in display advertising and sponsorship in the group’s crucial fourth quarter, ‘was significantly below our expectations’.

He said the board was taking the opportunity to address the large cost base and had ‘already put in place a series of plans and initiatives’.

‘Our focus in 2014 is to ensure that these plans are well executed and, in turn, deliver on the significant potential inherent within the group.’

Slipper explained that the increase in the cost base is broadly split across rights, staff and production costs and has arisen partly due to the significant number of acquisitions which he acknowledged had not been integrated as quickly as anticipated and operational synergies not yet being achieved.

‘As a result there has been unnecessary duplication in certain areas and efficiencies have not yet been realised.’

Initiatives to increase effectiveness and efficiency of Perform’s underlying operations and reduce run-rate costs by 15% compared to 2013 include consolidation of several teams and brands, a more streamlined content and procurement operations and bringing forward Opta’s integration from the fourth to the second quarter of 2014.

Breakdown of company performance

  • FY revenues up 37 per cent
  • – EBITDA down three per cent, EPS down seven per cent
  • – 2014 showing strong YOY growth in revenues, EBITDA

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