Zinc Media CEO on “our best set of results” (LON:ZIN)

Zinc Media Group plc (LON:ZIN) Chief Executive Officer Mark Browning caught up with DirectorsTalk for an exclusive interview to discuss their impressive FY results, growth drivers, recent productions, 2023 market expectations and the outlook for the company.

Q1: First off, congratulations on the impressive full year results that you’ve announced. Mark, could you just take us through the highlights?

A1: The headline is that we’ve managed to exceed market expectations at revenue and the adjusted EBITDA line for FY22 with big revenue increases, actually, last year.

Revenue increased 72% up to just over £30 million, that is the highest for 10 years within the Zinc Group and really powerfully driven by organic growth as well, that increased just under £7 million or 40% year-on-year. So, that’s encouraging.

The other thing we’re reporting on for the first time is the quality of revenue and the visibility of revenue so 80% of our turnover last year, of that £30 million, came from existing customers. That is an increase on the prior year which was nearer 70% so we’re very pleased with that.

It’s, without question, our best set of results for a long time.

Q2: You mentioned revenue increased by 72% to £30.1 million and that marks the highest revenue the group has generated in the last 10 years. What do you put that down to?

A2: The good thing is all 12 of the group’s businesses have contributed to that, it’s come from every part.

Television grew 39% from about £14.5 million to about £20 million, Zinc Communicate grew 40% as well, that’s a fast trajectory, and The Edge had a fantastic year, they grew in totality just under 60%.

So, every part of our business is growing, obviously The Edge contributed 4.5 months into those numbers.

Q3: You recently announced the group’s largest £7.3 million multi-series win, can you tell us more about that and other recent productions?

A3: Yes, so that was a commission for Channel 5 called Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun. It was actually in 2022 our biggest ever series commission and we’ve announced another bigger series commission for 2023 of that same title which also goes into 2024. So, that’s delivering on our plan to grow and scale these big, long-running returning series.

We’ve actually had a fantastic run in the first half of this year, just last week we had the Dame Deborah James documentary, ‘Bowel Babe’, on the BBC which was also front cover of many of the TV magazines and listings. We’ve got BBC1 airing our Dr Xand health programme at the moment, ‘Con or Cure’, BBC’s latest edition last week and Channel 4 announced a very powerful documentary called ‘Gender Wars’ last week as well. The BBC announced a special we’re doing for their Eurovision coverage with Scott Mills and UKTV Gold also announced a special with the Blackadder cast, ‘Blackadder: The Lost Pilot’.

So, we’ve had a tremendous run only in the last 6/7 days including winning Production Company of the Year in the New York TV Awards.

Q4: Now, you’ve already secured £26 million of revenue booked for the year, that’s an increase of £11 million in the last 2 months alone. What are your market expectations for 2023?

A4: They’re available from our brokers, I think the brokers suggest £35 million revenue and £1 million of EBITDA so being on £26 million is, as you say, a significant uplift from our latest trading update. It’s £18 million more than we were 6 months ago, it’s £30 million more than we were this time last year.

So, we’re in a comfortable position, we’re confident about delivering to those market forecasts as we sit here at the end of April on £26 million with a pipeline of another £6 million that is highly advanced and with a decent run of the year still to go.

Q5: Finally, just looking forward, how would you describe the outlook for Zinc Media?

A5: We’re positive and confident. We think we’ve got momentum, we like the fact that we’re highly advanced in our bookings for this year, The Edge is performing particularly well and we’ve got a good pipeline.

So, all the things at the moment are pretty green on our dashboards, where we want to be in terms of our KPI’s for this year, that’s looking very encouraging indeed.

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