Good morning, it's Paul here.

It was a huge pleasure to meet & chat to the many Stockopedia subscribers who attended Mello London. The whole event was a terrific success. Mello has become a community of friends, and I really enjoy the gathering of the clan at each event. Congratulations to David Stredder, Georgina, and the rest of the team, for organising another excellent event.

I lost count of the number of people who thanked me & Graham in person for our work in producing these reports. It's very rewarding to receive such positive feedback, so thank you to everyone who took the trouble to speak to me. So much positive energy, I feel like a fully charged battery now!

Right, on to today's news.



OnTheBeach (LON:OTB)

Share price: 416p (up 3.5% today, at 08:06)
No. shares: 131.0m
Market cap: £545m

Preliminary results 

This is an online travel agent. It's reporting today on the year ended 30 Sept 2018.

So far, so good - the market has reacted positively this morning in early trades, share price up about 4%.

Revenues - up 24.5% to £104.1m. As disclosed in a footnote, the bulk of this increase is due to a recent acquisition (called "Classic"). The more meaningful number is that core business revenues were up 9% to £89.3m.

Marketing costs - many online businesses have marketing costs as their largest variable cost. This is a very attractive feature, since marketing spend can be dialed up or down, to suit market conditions. In a recession, it would be a major advantage over bricks & mortar competitors, which are stuck with largely fixed costs. Marketing spend here is huge, at 41.8% of revenues (down from 45.2% last year).

International - the growth in Scandinavia has stalled. Doesn't seem to be working yet, with a £2.2m EBITDA loss. Warm summer & discounting by competitors are given as reasons. To reiterate the point above about marketing spend, this was slashed to a background level.

Adjusted profit before tax - the key number for me, is £33.6m,  up an impressive 17.9%. Let me check that the adjustments are sensible. Footnote 3 explains the adjustments as follows;

(3)      Group adjusted profit before tax is profit before tax,
amortisation of acquired intangibles of £4.6m (FY17: £4.3m),
share based payments £1.4m (FY17: £0.5m),
exceptional costs of £0.6m (FY17: £2.7m) and

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