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Out of Home pioneer Ocean bounces back from pandemic – but it’s still in the shop window

Premium digital Out of Home media owner Ocean Outdoor has bounced back strongly from the pandemic in 2021, recording a 44.3% increase in revenue over 2020 (7.2% over Q4 2019) and a profit of £18.6m.

The company, which operates in the UK, Netherlands and the Nordics, has also won long-term contracts from Edinburgh’s £1bn St James Quarter, Canary Wharf Group and Copenhagen’s Fisketorvet shopping and leisure centre. Its flagship sites include London’s Piccadilly Lights and the IMAX cinema (below.)

However Ocean remains in the shop window thanks to an ongoing “strategic review.” The company says “the board and management felt that Ocean was undervalued, with the share price continuing to face technical trading challenges unrelated to Ocean’s strong business fundamentals and intrinsic value.

“The Board is continuing to evaluate a number of options, including a potential sale, following interest and conditional offers received which may or may not lead to a transaction. Another update will be made when appropriate.”

Ocean CEO Tim Bleakley says: “The (OOH) medium went from strength to strength during 2021 as Covid restrictions were lifted and vaccination programmes rolled out. As populations were liberated the advertisers targeted out of home, with audiences coming back fast and strong in the environments where Ocean is focussed.

“Ocean was at the forefront of driving the recovery, with DOOH playing the most significant role by providing a high impact and dynamic means to target highly valuable audiences efficiently and cost effectively. We have helped to deliver memorable, engaging campaigns that transcend the physical display, with images captured and shared across multiple online news and mobile platforms, on both a national and global scale.”

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