- Emmis Communications is a diversified operating company with assets in the media, technology, and building materials sectors.
- Each of Emmis’ businesses were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Revenues for the company decreased 19% compared to the prior year, pro forma for the Lencore acquisition in March 2020.
- We implemented a comprehensive expense reduction plan in Q4 FY21 that included a 20% furlough for most employees, a 25% pay cut for executive officers, a 100% furlough for a smaller number of employees, and numerous non-personnel cuts.
- We expect revenue growth in FY22 as U.S. businesses begin to reopen, commercial construction and advertising regain momentum, and live events return. We are beginning to see some improvement, but anticipate it will depend on COVID recovery rates.
- We expect to finalize our financial statements for FY21 in late May, and will make them available to all our shareholders upon request. Please send an email to IR@emmis.com if you would like to receive a copy.
- Our annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on August 4, 2021.
- A more detailed summary of each of our portfolio companies are outlined in the sections below.
- Lencore’s business is tied to the commercial construction industry for both new and remodel construction projects, as well as health care facilities impacted by HIPAA rules.
- Lencore’s revenue declined 27% compared to the prior year due to the impact of the pandemic.
- Expenses declined 17% despite strategic investments in new sales personnel and the required move to new office space in Huntington, NY necessitated by the tax-efficient Opportunity Zone Fund structure used to purchase Lencore.
- An audit of the Lencore business conducted post-closing revealed a 14% shortfall of FY21 revenues from those represented by the seller in the purchase agreement. We are pursuing a claim under our representation and warranty insurance policy and have reserved our rights against the seller.
- In FY22, we expect Lencore’s business to recover gradually as construction projects resume with many employees around the country returning to office work environments as well as health care facilities becoming able to focus on non-COVID activities.
- The radio industry was dramatically affected by the decline of advertising revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Indianapolis radio market revenues were down 30% during FY21, while the Emmis Indianapolis group was down 24%. We are seeing gradual improvement in the market in the first few months of the new fiscal year.
- Sound That Brands, our branded podcast start-up continued to grow revenue in FY21 in spite of the pandemic. We expect the company to break-even in FY22.
- In FY22, we expect radio revenues to recover along with the broader advertising market.
- Much like the radio industry, publishing revenues were severely hampered by advertising revenue declines in FY21.
- Indianapolis Monthly’s revenue was off 39% during FY21, while expenses were reduced by 29%.
- In FY22, we expect publishing revenues to recover along with the broader advertising market.
- Digonex is a dynamic pricing company whose revenues are tied to the live events and attractions.
- This sector was severely impacted by COVID-19, however Digonex’s revenue only declined 9% year over year due to continued growth of our attractions business partially mitigating the significant declines in our live entertainment business.
- We expect Digonex’s revenue to recover and grow as businesses, especially entertainment venues, reopen throughout FY22.
Monument Circle Acquisition Corp.
- Emmis Communications is the primary of sponsor Monument Circle Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: MON, MONCU, MONCW) a blank check company (SPAC) with $250M held in trust with the stated purpose of effectuating a merger or acquisition with one or more target companies.
- Monument Circle Acquisition Corp. is currently exploring business combination targets with an emphasis on the media, sports and entertainment, and technology sectors. We have been encouraged by the opportunities we have seen during this process.
- We are in the process of selling our AM tower site in Whitestown, Indiana. We have one sale completed, two parcels under contract and one parcel under a letter of intent. We hope to complete the sale of all of this land in the next twelve to 18 months.
- We also are attempting to sell WLIB-AM, New York City. We have had the station for sale for several years and while we have had serious discussions, no contract has been completed. We are hopeful we will find a buyer in 2021.
- With Emmis no longer listed on the Nasdaq, we recognize that some of our shareholders may be seeking additional liquidity for their investment.
- To the extent you are seeking liquidity for your Emmis stock, please email us at IR@emmis.com as we have a limited amount of capital that we might deploy for share repurchases. If you would like to discuss this with us, you may also email Jeff Smulyan at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Hornaday at email@example.com.