Joseph Oughourlian, president of PRISA: “It is time to look to the future with enthusiasm and ambition” | Economy

The president of PRISA, Joseph Oughourlian, stated during the shareholders’ meeting that in 2021 what, in his opinion, “has been the most significant change in the company’s history” was undertaken. He stressed that at the beginning of 2021 he assumed the presidency “at a critical moment” both due to the economic crisis, which especially impacted the group’s business sectors, and due to the financial situation, for which “it was necessary to undertake a total restructuring that will place PRISA in the best position 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, has endorsed the changes made throughout 2021, the new strategy presented by the group and the management of the board, with the majority support (99.9%) of the shareholders.

Oughourlian recalled that in the first months of 2022 PRISA (the publishing group of El PAÍS) has created a Sustainability Commission within the board of directors, which will integrate the ESG (environmental, social and governance) in 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 full commitment and that of the council to reduce the debt in the coming years. We are looking at all the options and possibilities because we have the objective of getting out of the negative cycle of indebtedness that has weighed down this company for years. It has harmed it and has conditioned its strategy. It is my great goal and I will put all my efforts into 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 projects underway, both in Education and Media. In Spain and America”, he added.

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The executive president of PRISA Media, Carlos Núñez, listed the changes made between last year and the first half of this year, aimed at achieving the terms announced in the 2022-2025 strategic plan. “All this has been accompanied by a substantial improvement in the financial results of the area, despite the magnitude of the changes we have undertaken during 2021 and despite the fact that the macroeconomic recovery compared to 2020 has been less than expected”, he explained. the. “In particular, our revenues have grown by 14% during 2021 and we have increased our digital revenue mix by up to 24%, and all this thanks to an exceptional advertising performance in the markets where we operate and a growth of more than 61% of our subscriber base.

Núñez alluded to the “times of continuous and complex transformation” that the media are experiencing, but guaranteed that the company is “on the right track.” “And we have the best assets: the best brands, the best teams, the markets to grow in, and with it, the scale to be successful in the digital, national and global arena. And we have the independence and rigor necessary to develop our business and this is confirmed by our audience and with it, and as it cannot be otherwise, to strengthen and establish the democratic societies where we carry out our activity and move decisively towards sustainability. ”, he sentenced.


For his part, the executive president of Santillana, Francisco Cuadrado, explained that the business unit is looking to the future with an eye on subscription models, where Santillana has already registered 2 million subscriptions and has the goal of reaching 3 .5 million in 2025. “Big Data applied to pedagogy will allow us to better understand the use of our educational platform, improving the user experience more and more”, he deepened and highlighted that Santillana is consolidating itself as “the leading Edtech in Latin America ”.

“In the public market, the challenge is to maintain leadership and be fully prepared for the digitization of the sector, which will come in the coming years,” he added. Cuadrado assured that Santillana is on track to have a company with revenues between 450 and 550 million euros in 2025.

The new financial director of the group, Pilar Gil, made clear her priorities focused on “maximizing the company’s cash”. “With an optimized and efficient holding company, we will implement measures that put a lot of focus on money in circulation, on the control of investments that support digital development, we will monitor exchange rates and interest rates and we will seek to maximize tax efficiency, analyzing any option that allows us to improve the cash generation profile of the company and makes it sustainable over time”, he explained.

Council changes

Image of the PRISA shareholders' meeting held this Tuesday in Madrid.
Image of the PRISA shareholders’ meeting held this Tuesday in Madrid.

PRISA’s general shareholders’ meeting, held this Tuesday in Madrid, has approved the 2021 accounts, as well as the new director remuneration policy for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 financial years and the amendments to the board regulations. The shareholders have also cast their vote in favor of the share capital increase through credit compensation, as part of the recently approved refinancing process.

Likewise, they have endorsed the delegation to the board of the power to issue bonds, bonds and fixed-income securities of a similar nature, promissory notes and preference shares, in order to renew, for a period of five years, the similar authorization already approved the board in April 2018 and whose validity expired in 2023.

The meeting has also ratified 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 shareholders’ meeting approved by 73.47% of the votes the dismissal of director Roberto Alcántara, who owns 5% of the company’s capital. The proposal, which was not on the agenda, came from the Alconaba Group, which recently acquired 7% of the stake held by Telefónica, and which has asked to have a seat on the board given its greater presence in the shareholding than that of the businessman Mexican.

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