(Correcting that Niki Baker has been appointed executive director with a special responsibility for events, not managing director, after a correction issued by Vitesse Media.)
LONDON (Alliance News) – Shares in digital media and events company Vitesse Media PLC rose significantly on Friday as it reported a slightly widened loss for its recently ended financial period despite higher revenue, as the group pushed back its financial year-end to March 31.
Shares in Vitesse Media were up 47% at 2.76 pence on Friday.
Vitesse Media will end its financial year on March 31 instead of January 31, which is the reason why its recently ended period is 14 months instead of the 12-month comparable period the year before.
For the 14-month period ended March 31, its pretax loss was broadly flat at GBP205,560 from GBP204,046 in the 12-month period.
Administrative expenses rose to GBP1.9 million from GBP1.7 million, coming from the impairment of the group’s discontinued crowdfunding project and some of its websites, as well as the write-off of paper stock for Vitesse’s printed magazines.
However revenue increased to GBP2.7 million from GBP2.1 million the prior year, with growth almost completely coming from the Events division, which launched inaugural events for ‘British Small Business’ and ‘Tech Leaders Summit’ along with the continued success of ‘Women in IT’ and ‘Investor All Stars’.
Vitesse did not recommend the payment of a dividend, having not paid one the year before.
“Trading in the current year to date is in line with the board’s expectations. The board’s strategy has been to focus the group’s resources on the Events division where it sees more opportunities. We intend to continue with this strategy, whilst at the same time we intend to invest in our media businesses, which we believe will improve the group’s performance in what is a changing market. The business is in a much stronger position than it has been for some time and the board is confident this will be reflected in the group’s trading performance in the year ahead,” said Chairman Dave Smith in a statement.
In addition, Vitesse Media said on Friday it has appointed Simon Stilwell as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. He will be replacing Niki Baker, who has taken up the role of executive director with a special responsibility for Events. She was chief executive for five years since 2012.
Stilwell’s most recent role was director of online vintage hunting clothing retailer The Vintage Tack Room Ltd since 2016. Prior to that he was chief executive officer of investment bank Liberum which he co-founded in 2007, for five years from 2010 to 2015.
“On behalf of the board, I am pleased to welcome Simon to the company and look forward to working with him in shaping the future direction of business. I wish to place on record the board’s appreciation of Niki’s role as chief executive over the past five years and look forward to her continuing contribution leading our growing events business,” Smith said.
Also, Stilwell and Liontrust Asset Management fund manager Anthony Cross have each purchased 6.4 million and 7.0 million shares respectively, at a price of 2.5 pence per share. Following the transaction, both men hold 7.0 million shares each, representing an 11% stake in the company.
Former executive chairman Chris Ingram has sold 8.4 million shares, reducing his holding to 8.4 million shares, reflecting a 13% interest, and former chairman and company founder Sara Williams sold 5.0 million shares, bringing down her holdings to 3.4 million shares, translating to a 6.0% holding.
Furthermore, Vitesse Media said it is considering the placing of shares in order to rise GBP2.0 million to repay the company’s current indebtedness, fund the development of the Events business and expand the capabilities of Vitesse’s existing digital platforms. The placing is subject to shareholder approval, however and Cross have already announced they be collectively investing GBP500,000 in the fundraising.
By Dayo Laniyan; firstname.lastname@example.org
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