Guardian Media Limited has reported a profit before tax of $6.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2021.
“This is the second consecutive year in which Guardian Media Ltd has achieved profitability following three successive years of losses (2017-2019),” GML’s chairman Peter Clarke stated.
“Despite significant uncertainty in the current economic environment, we remain committed to enhancing shareholder value whilst exercising appropriate stewardship over the company’s resources and reinforce our view that the future continues to be promising,” Clarke stated.
And based on this, Clarke said the GML board has approved a final ordinary dividend of seven cents per share.
In 2020, the final ordinary dividend was five cents.
Preference shareholders will receive a final dividend of three per cent.
These dividends will be paid on June 15.
Clarke said the challenges precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic continued unabated for the majority of last year.
“Shrinking advertising budgets and digital market disruptions, all combined to ensure that 2021 was once again an exceedingly challenging year,” he said.
The government’s commitment to keep the business sector open despite rising infection levels and death rates, however, brought about renewed hope and optimism within the business community and increased advertising spend, especially in the lead up to the Divali and Christmas seasons, Clarke added.
“This was a key contributing factor in Guardian Media Limited’s reversal of the year to date Q3 loss before tax of $5 million, and the delivery of its full year result,” Clarke stated.
“In similar fashion to 2020, the final quarter’s performance was very strong. In 2021, for the quarter ended 31 December, Guardian Media Limited reported profit before taxation of $11.5 million, up by $2.5 million or 28 per cent from last year’s fourth quarter result of $9 million. Final quarter revenues were better than in prior year primarily as a result of the nationwide relaxation in COVID restrictions,” he stated.
Clarke said intensified cost-cutting reduced expenses by $6 million or six per cent year over year.
“Our full-year results were underpinned by efficiency improvements, robust credit management and a net positive change in the defined benefit pension plan,” he stated.
Clarke also announced the appointment of Dr Karrian Hepburn Malcolm as GML’s managing director following the retirement of Brandon Khan on February 28.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors we wish to express our sincere gratitude to Brandon for his leadership and unconditional commitment to the success of Guardian Media Limited over the last two unprecedented years. We warmly welcome our new Managing Director, Dr Karrian Hepburn Malcolm who assumed the position on March 1, 2022,” Clarke stated.
“We also take this opportunity to express the Board and management’s sincere thanks to our loyal and fearless employees for their unreserved commitment to our customers throughout these challenging times. To our customers and shareholders, thank you for your ongoing support,” he stated.