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TX Group Half-Year Report 2021

Zurich, 31 August 2021

Dear Shareholders
dear Staff Members
dear Friends and Partners of the TX Group

The year 2021 will go down in our corporate history. The merger of our online marketplaces and general classifieds platforms (TX Markets excluding JobCloud) with those of Ringier/Mobiliar (Scout24 Switzerland) represents a major step for TX Group and a strengthening of the Swiss business location. It will create one of the country’s largest digital companies. We are proud to be making a major contribution to this new enterprise. In recent years, we invested a lot of effort to develop TX Markets and consistently drive growth across all areas.

The merger is a bold but logical step. Digitalisation is having an impact on all parts of the economy and along the entire value chain. Even digital businesses are challenged to constantly reinvent themselves and keep up with fast-paced developments. In the area of marketplaces and classifieds, there has also been a significant change in terms of competition. Global players are entering markets around the world and increasingly making inroads into our domestic market as well. The emerging enterprise provides a new and stronger base for Swiss online marketplaces and general classifieds platforms to compete in this environment. In future, this joint venture will be able to reach new heights – at its own pace and in its own way.

The realignment of our Group is already having a positive impact: The structure introduced in early 2020, with the four independent companies TX Markets, Goldbach, 20 Minuten and Tamedia, is allowing us to strike out in new directions. It has provided transparency and clarity regarding the great opportunities and challenges of the different business areas. All our companies are working to establish their own position within the market. At the same time, joint business opportunities are cultivated where it is appropriate.

Looking back on the first half of 2021, the economic environment remained challenging for the entire TX Group, with the coronavirus crisis continuing to weigh us down. This makes our results even more gratifying, with revenues enjoying 8 per cent organic growth year-on-year and operating income (EBIT b. PPA) up by CHF 36 million.

The significant improvement in the operating income also reflects the initial impact of the ongoing savings programmes for Group-wide services and Tamedia. The increase in revenues was driven by online marketplaces and classified.The strongest recovery in the first half of the year was recorded by the job market, with JobCloud making up for lost ground. Other marketplaces also performed well. For example, Ricardo and Tutti continued to profit from the general trend for second-hand products and the increased awareness of sustainability. Overall, TX Markets showed its resilience in the pandemic and is ready for the next steps in its development.

The other companies also did their bit to increase revenue. As the first half of the year drew to a close, the situation on the advertisement market started to improve, and this had a positive impact on 20 Minuten, Goldbach and Tamedia. Goldbach received a decisive boost in the growing out-of-home segment by winning Zurich’s public transport system (VBZ) as a customer. 20 Minuten and Tamedia pushed ahead with their digitalisation drive: 20 Minuten was the first daily medium in Switzerland to reach a total audience of over 3 million users, while Tamedia was able to compensate for the decline in print subscriptions through online subscriptions.

Across the Group, the digital share of revenues increased by 3 percentage points to 53 per cent compared to the previous year, with 11 per cent coming from publishing. In future too, top priority will be given to consistent development of digital products.

As a leading media and technology group in Switzerland, we are convinced we can play a leading role in digital transformation. The joint venture announced today, which combines our online marketplaces and classified advertising with those of Ringier/Mobiliar, will see the emergence of a strong and powerful digital enterprise in Switzerland. We have helped build this foundation and gained valuable experience in the process. With a solid balance sheet and a high level of liquidity, many opportunities are open for us to use them in a targeted manner and to further develop our Group. With this in mind, we look forward to an exciting future and hope to shape this with our outstanding colleagues. Many thanks for your confidence in TX Group.

Yours sincerely,

WSGE_DP_Unterschriften

Dr Pietro Supino

Chairman and Publisher