DPG Media Annual Report 2023: Digital growth and efficient cost control yield stable financial result


DPG Media's turnover in 2023 was 1.791 billion euros, down slightly by 2% on last year. EBITDA reached 360 million euros and net profit was 197 million euros, nearly identical to the previous year’s 201 million. 

Erik Roddenhof, CEO of DPG Media: "We are closing a financially stable year, that on the revenue side featured undiminished digital income growth from news media and very strong results from online services and radio. News media and magazines were faced, however, with rising personnel costs and sharply increased paper prices." 

Digitisation in publishing continues
The total paid circulation of the publishing business (news media and magazines) remained almost unchanged at over 2.9 million subscribers. The number of digital subscriptions grew by 10% and managed to offset the decline in print. The decline in print subscribers mainly affected magazines. With the success of digital subscriptions, news media grew its total number of paying subscribers as well as revenue. We are not yet seeing this evolution in magazines. Total turnover from publishing operations remained stable compared to 2022.

A strong year for radio & television
Television (38%) and radio (40%) in Flanders achieved good market shares in 2023, just as radio stations did in the Netherlands (26%). The number of active users of our streaming service VTM GO grew by 14%. Despite a somewhat hesitant advertising market, this yielded stable turnover for our television and streaming activities and excellent growth of turnover (+9%) from radio operations. 

In the Netherlands, DPG Media secured an additional FM licence and launched radio station JOE in the Dutch market in September. With a current 5% market share, JOE is making a flying start. 

DPG Media announced its proposed takeover of RTL Netherlands in December, which is now up for review by ACM and the works councils.

Ongoing growth in online services
Revenues from online services grew by 10% by 2023. The number of visits and comparisons made by consumers on our platforms grew sharply. This was mainly due to the success of Independer and Automotive Mediaventions (Autotrack.nl, Gaspedaal.nl). Revenue from energy supplier comparison sites in Belgium lagged slightly due to a more difficult energy market. 

DPG Media commits to digital value creation
The past year has seen a further strategy focus shift from digital transition to creating more digital value. “Digital value creation starts with the consumer. A consumer who comes more often and stays with us longer is more willing to become a subscriber and is attractive to advertisers. So we need to offer even more value to consumers. That is why we offered readers, viewers and listeners of our media both more and better stories and programmes. We will continue to invest in the quality of our content, products and services in the years ahead, especially digital," Erik Roddenhof said.

Digital ad revenue growth
In five years, DPG Media's digital ad revenue has grown by 250% to 207 million euros. This growth was partly due to its own independent DPG Network: a well-functioning system that offers advertisers a trusted environment of quality journalism. In mid-2023, the final piece was introduced: the Ad Manager self-service tool that allows advertisers to procure ads in a new way without the complex chain they were used to through the big tech companies' existing procurement platforms. This has vastly improved media value and campaign results for advertisers.

DPG Media reports on ESG policy and results
In its 2023 annual report, DPG Media will for the first time report in detail on the steps it is taking in terms of its ESG policy. DPG Media's ESG policy is built on six pillars: (1) Reducing our ecological footprint, (2) Strong and independent journalism, (3) A diverse and inclusive work environment, (4) Employee development and growth, (5) Responsible data use, (6) Social contribution.

DPG Media's CO2 emissions were down 11% in 2023 from a year earlier. Steps to achieve this reduction were taken both in our own organisation and operations and in the production and distribution chain.

Outlook for 2024
DPG Media expects limited revenue growth for 2024, with another big step ahead in digitalisation. High inflation will continue to impact our results in 2024. The outcome of the collective bargaining agreement in the Netherlands and the substantial additional costs of print distribution in Belgium will have an impact on the results. 

To the digital annual report 2023