03. May 2021 | 07:32 CET
Steinhoff International, Aspermont, BASF - Things are moving mightily!
The power of the media as opinion leaders has once again been demonstrated during the Corona Crisis. But the media have changed in recent years. Whereas it used to be enough to announce a "news" item in the daily print edition, nowadays, news outlets are firing from all guns. On social networks like Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, the press is omnipresent and, whether we like it or not, fires us with the most important information throughout the day. The multi-channel strategy will open up new sources of revenue, recently unknown, which will significantly increase the value of companies.
time to read: 3 minutes by Stefan Feulner
Aspermont - Nostalgic data octopus
No future without online business. The Australian media Company Aspermont has also had to admit this. Based on the two oldest publications for the mining sector, Mining Journal, founded in 1835, and Mining Magazine, the Company launched its digital transformation in 2016 with a five-year plan. More than 7.5 million existing contacts from decision-makers in the mining, energy and agriculture sectors now had to be migrated to the online age and monetized there.
For generating leads, the Company, headquartered in London, uses algorithms programmed in-house to filter out focal points of interest in a personalized way for the customer based on artificial intelligence. The transformation to a global B2B service provider was completed with "Anything as a Service," i.e., providing services such as news, research, data and live or virtual events. For this, B2B customers pay a monthly flat rate via a subscription model.
Since 2016, the average annual growth in monthly active users has been 23%. In addition to the subscription business, which is expected to continue growing, Aspermont plans to generate additional brands and products and push for expansion to South America, India and, primarily, China. The Virtual Event & Exhibition division, which was forced to the forefront by the Corona pandemic, was a significant success factor for continued growth. The new division flushed over AUD 1 million into the coffers after just a few months. Overall, the figures for the fourth quarter of 2020 showed enormous growth compared to previous quarters. For example, Q4/2020 and Q1/2021 subscription cash revenues were 22% higher than Q2 and Q3 2020 revenues, realizing cash revenues of AUD 4 million.
Aspermont is debt-free and has AUD 7 million in cash through a recent successful capital increase. In addition to the free cash flow, which will gradually flow into the new business areas, the management also intends to steadily invest the cash reserves in further growth. Other segments that Aspermont wants to focus on in the future are developing the e-learning and B2B trading platform segments. Aspermont could mutate into a scaling monster through cross-selling effects. The current stock market value is around EUR 40 million. In the long term, this could become "the success story from Down Under."
Steinhoff International - Subsidiary to help
An important week for the crisis-ridden Steinhoff shareholders. The South African-German group, which has fallen into disrepute due to the accounting scandal, is looking for sources of income and is now planning to list its subsidiary Pepco on the Warsaw stock exchange. The IPO was initially scheduled for last year but was postponed due to Corona.
The valuation at Pepco, which operates stores under the "Pepco" and "Dealz" brands in Eastern Europe and under "Poundland" in the UK, is said to be EUR 5 billion. The subsidiary of Steinhoff International operates more than 3200 stores in 16 countries, including more than 1000 in Poland alone. Partly for this reason, the Warsaw trading venue was chosen over the London Stock Exchange. The parent company plans to sell up to 15% of its stake in a first step - a ray of hope for disappointed creditors.
BASF - Optimism returns
The chemical group BASF is extremely optimistic about the rest of the financial year. The unexpectedly strong recovery of the global economy and significantly increased raw material prices are the reasons for raising the annual targets.
The group now expects EBIT adjusted for special items of EUR 5.0 billion to EUR 5.8 billion and sales of EUR 68 billion to EUR 71 billion for the current year. Previously, BASF had planned to achieve an adjusted EBIT of EUR 4.1 billion to EUR 5 billion. For sales, the Company had expected 61 to 64 billion. For global chemical production, management expects annual growth of 5%. Analysts also remained positive on BASF. Thus, both Deutsche Bank and UBS left the share at "Buy."