PRISA President Joseph Oughourlian said during the AGM that 2021 was what he considered to be “the most significant change in the company’s history.” He stressed that he assumed the presidency at the beginning of 2021 “at a critical moment”, both because of the economic crisis, which is particularly affecting the Group’s business units, and because of the financial situation, which “necessitated an overall restructuring package that will bring PRISA to the best placed to lead the necessary transformation of the business sector in which we operate.”
The General Meeting of Shareholders of PRISA, held this Tuesday in Madrid, approved the changes made throughout 2021, the new strategy presented by the Group and the Management of the Board of Directors, with the support of the majority (99.9 %) of the shareholders approved.
Oughourlian recalled that in the first months of 2022, PRISA (the publishing group of El PAÍS) set up a Sustainability Committee on the Board that will integrate ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) into all group initiatives. The President of PRISA emphasized the financial situation: “Just because we have refinanced does not mean that our debt is not still high. I assure you that you have my and the Council’s full commitment to reducing debt in the years to come. We are examining all options and opportunities as our goal is to get out of the negative debt cycle that has plagued this company for years. It hurt him and conditioned his strategy. It is my big goal and I will do everything I can to achieve it.”
PRISA’s top executive argued that “with the necessary caution due to the current global economic and geopolitical situation, it is time to look to the future with hope and ambition”. “We work in a great company that we are proud of. We have a great project, a group that has everything to grow significantly. We are building a new PRISA, with countless ongoing projects, both in education and in the media. In Spain and America,” he added.
PRISA Media Executive President Carlos Núñez listed the changes made between last year and the first half of this year to achieve the conditions announced in the Strategic Plan 2022-2025. “All of this has been accompanied by a significant improvement in the division’s financial results, despite the magnitude of the changes we made in 2021 and despite the fact that the macroeconomic recovery was less than expected compared to 2020,” he explained. . “Specifically, in 2021 our revenue grew by 14% and we grew our digital revenue mix by up to 24%, all thanks to exceptional advertising performance in the markets we serve and growth of more than 61% . our subscriber base.
Núñez alluded to the “times of continuous and complex change” the media is witnessing, but assured that the company is “on the right track”. “And we have the best assets: the best brands, the best teams, the markets in which we can grow and therefore the size to be successful in the digital, national and global area. And we have the independence and rigor necessary to develop our business, and this is confirmed by our public and therefore, and as could not be otherwise, to strengthen the democratic societies in which we carry out our activities and to establish and decided to move in the direction of sustainability. , he condemned.
For his part, Santillana’s Executive President, Francisco Cuadrado, explained that the division is looking to the future with an eye on the subscription models, where Santillana has already registered 2 million subscriptions and has the goal of reaching 3.5 million in 2025 “The application from Big Data to pedagogy will allow us to better understand the use of our educational platform and to always improve the user experience”, he clarified, stressing that Santillana is consolidating as “the leading edtech in Latin America”.
“The challenge in the public market is to maintain the lead and be fully prepared for the digitization of the sector that will come in the years to come,” he added. Cuadrado assured that Santillana is on track to have a company with sales between 450 and 550 million euros by 2025.
The group’s new finance director, Pilar Gil, made it clear that her priorities are “maximizing the company’s liquidity”. “With a streamlined and efficient holding, we will implement policies heavily focused on money circulation and management of investments that support digital development, we will monitor exchange rates and interest rates, and try to maximize tax efficiency by analyzing each option that allows us to improve the company’s cash generation profile and make it sustainable over time,” he explained.
changes in the council
PRISA’s General Assembly, held this Tuesday in Madrid, approved the 2021 financial statements, as well as the new Directors’ Remuneration Policy for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 financial years and the amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Board of Directors. As part of the recently approved refinancing process, the shareholders also voted in favor of the capital increase through loan compensation.
They also approved the delegation of authority to issue debentures, debentures and similar debt securities, promissory notes and preferred stock to the Board of Directors to renew for a five-year term previously approved by the Board of Directors in April 2018 and effective 2023 has expired.
The meeting also confirmed the re-election of Francisco Cuadrado and Teresa Quirós as executive and independent directors respectively. Francisco Cuadrado is President of Santillana and Teresa Quirós chairs the Audit Committee.
Likewise, the general meeting approved, with 73.47% of the votes, the dismissal of the director Roberto Alcántara, who owns 5% of the capital of the company. The proposal, which was not on the agenda, came from the Alconaba group, which recently acquired 7% of the shares held by Telefónica and which has applied for a seat on the board of directors, given its greater presence in the holding than that of businessman Mexican .