Time Out Group PLC have struggled in the past year, as is the case for much of the industry.
The multinational media and entertainment company saw its interim pre-tax losses increase as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the closure of much of the entertainment industry, as well as a steep drop in advertising revenue and the enforcement of travel restrictions on both a local and global scale.
The international multi-media platform reported a pre-tax loss of £16.7 million in the six months ending in December 2020, contrasted with a loss of £8.5million for the 2019 period of the same length.
Furthermore, Time Out London has informed London & Continental Railways Limited that it will no longer proceed with the proposed Time Out Market development that was all set to appear in Waterloo, on the Southbank, later this year. This is, again, due to the impact the current COVID-19 restrictions are having on the hospitality sector.
“Whilst it is clear that the current circumstances continue to have a significant negative impact on the group’s trading, we do not have clarity over the duration and severity of the necessary response to COVID-19 and as such it is not possible to provide a clear outlook for the rest of the current financial year and beyond,” said CEO Julio Bruno.
Since 1968, Time Out has provided news, event offers, and entertainment, for their loyal readership. Readers look to the magazine (and to all their media platforms) to navigate the hectic nightlife scene of major cities including New York, Lisbon, and Chicago. However, prospects are not entirely pessimistic for the brand which has its roots in the London nightlife scene.
The company have announced plans to launch a £15 million equity raise to assist the businesses return to pre-pandemic trading levels. Bruno announced, “Thanks to our supportive investors, this equity raise announced today will help position us to make the most of our post pandemic opportunity, as we grow our digital advertising proposition and reopen the doors of our existing Time Out Markets and open the doors to new ones, with our Markets transforming spaces and increasing footfall to locations in great cities around the world”.
As the world gradually opens again, Time Out will have to respond to the influx of customers and the changing landscape of the leisure and hospitality industry. This recent announcement is a positive next step to achieving just that.
Words by: Rebecca Clayton