Alma Media’s Interim Report January–September 2016:Revenue and operating profit grew as expected in the third quarter

Alma Media Corporation               Interim Report                     28 October 2016 at 9:00 a.m. (EEST) 

Alma Media’s Interim Report January–September 2016: 

REVENUE AND OPERATING PROFIT GREW AS EXPECTED IN THE THIRD QUARTER 

Financial performance July–September 2016: 

  •  Revenue MEUR 80.9 (68.0), up 18.9%. 
  •  Adjusted operating profit MEUR 9.1 (7.6), or 11.2% (11.1%) of revenue, up 20.1%. 
  •  Operating profit MEUR 8.9 (6.0), or 11.0% (8.8%) of revenue, up 48.1%. 
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.07 (0.04). 
  •  Alma Markets: Strong growth continued internationally as well as in Finland. 
  •  Alma Talent: Profitability was unchanged year-on-year, in line with expectations. 
  •  Alma News & Life: Online advertising grew, particularly due to an increase in programmatic buying. 
  •  Alma Regions: Profitability declined year-on-year. 

Financial performance January–September 2016: 

  •  Revenue MEUR 259.6 (212.9), up 21.9%. 
  •  Adjusted operating profit MEUR 24.5 (16.3), or 9.4% (7.6%) of revenue, up 50.6%. 
  •  Operating profit MEUR 20.5 (16.8), or 7.9% (7.9%) of revenue, up 22.2%. 
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.15 (0.13). 
  •  At the end of the period, the gearing ratio was 51.0% and the equity ratio 44.1%. 
KEY FIGURES  2016  2015  Change  2016  2015  Change  2015 
MEUR  Q3  Q3  %  Q1–Q3  Q1–Q3  %  Q1–Q4 
Revenue  80.9  68.0  18.9  259.6  212.9  21.9  291.5 
Content revenue  30.1  25.3  18.8  95.1  75.4  26.0  104.1 
       Content revenue, print  26.4  23.8  10.9  84.3  70.8  19.1  97.0 
       Content revenue, online  3.7  1.6  139.4  10.8  4.7  128.5  7.1 
Advertising revenue  38.8  33.4  15.9  125.1  107.3  16.5  148.2 
       Advertising revenue, print  14.8  14.0  5.5  50.6  48.6  4.3  66.2 
       Advertising revenue, online  24.0  19.4  23.7  74.6  58.8  26.9  82.0 
Service revenue  12.1  9.3  30.2  39.5  30.2  30.8  39.2 
Adjusted total   expenses  72.0  60.6  18.8  235.6  197.0  19.6  268.7 
Adjusted EBITDA  13.6  11.0  23.8  38.0  26.6  42.9  37.4 
EBITDA   13.4  10.8  23.7  33.9  28.4  19.3  34.5 
Adjusted   operating profit  9.1  7.6  20.1  24.5  16.3  50.6  23.4 
% of revenue  11.2  11.1  9.4  7.6  8.0 
Operating profit   (loss)  8.9  6.0  48.1  20.5  16.8  22.2  17.7 
% of revenue  11.0  8.8  7.9  7.9  6.1 
Profit for the   period  6.5  3.7  77.9  15.0  11.8  27.1  12.1 
Earnings per   share, EUR (undiluted and basic)  0.07  0.04  62.9  0.15  0.13  9.2  0.13 
Online sales  32.3  24.5  31.7  97.7  74.8  30.6  104.2 
Online sales, %   of revenue  40.0  36.1  37.6  35.1  35.7 

Outlook for 2016 

Alma Media revised its outlook for 2016 in a release published on 14 September 2016. In 2016, the company expects its full-year revenue and adjusted operating profit to increase clearly from the 2015 level. Outlook for 2016 according to the release published on 14 September 2016: 

The Finnish economy is expected to show zero growth or only slight growth in 2016. Alma Media’s main operating countries in Eastern Central Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are expected to see continued economic growth, but at a lower rate than in 2015.  

Macroeconomic development affects both consumer demand and advertising volume. The structural transformation of advertising will continue in 2016; online advertising will grow, while print media advertising will decline. 

The Talentum acquisition completed in late 2015 will increase Alma Media’s revenue and operating profit in 2016.

In 2016, Alma Media expects its full-year revenue and adjusted operating profit to increase clearly from the 2015 level. The full-year revenue for 2015 was MEUR 291.5, and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 23.4. 

Kai Telanne, President and CEO:

The positive development of Alma Media’s business continued in the third quarter. The Group’s revenue grew by 19 per cent in July–September and totalled MEUR 80.9. As in the preceding quarters, the improved operating profit was attributable to the strong growth of Alma Markets and Alma News & Life. Adjusted operating profit grew by 20 per cent to MEUR 9.1.  

Continued favourable economic growth in Alma Media’s operating countries in Central Europe supported the positive development of Alma Markets’ recruitment business. The segment’s revenue also grew in Finland in housing, automotive and recruitment services. Alma Markets’ third quarter revenue grew by 17 per cent and operating profit improved by 28 per cent.  

Alma Talent’s profitability was unchanged year-on-year, as expected. Revenue development reflected the seasonality of the businesses acquired in the Talentum acquisition. The process of building the new business entity progressed as planned and the cost synergies achieved from integration were in line with expectations. In September, Alma Talent’s diverse media portfolio was complemented by the acquisition of Uusi Suomi. 

The continued strong growth of online advertising and the shift to programmatic buying in digital advertising were clearly reflected in the performance of the Alma News & Life segment. The segment’s digital advertising sales grew by nearly 40 per cent. The unit’s adjusted operating profit tripled year-on-year and amounted to MEUR 1.8. 

For Alma Regions, the third quarter was a difficult one in terms of both content revenue and advertising sales, which saw the segment’s revenue and profitability decline year-on-year. Measures to promote customers’ shift to digital are continuing. 

Digital business now accounts for 40 per cent of the Group’s revenue and two thirds of its operating profit. The shift from analog to digital has accelerated further this year, with customer needs and the user experience guiding development. Examples of Alma Media’s digital development during the reporting period include a comprehensive renewal of the digital advertising distribution system and our key role in establishing the Automated Guaranteed digital advertising marketplace for Finnish media companies. 

From the perspective of commercial media, the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications’ plan for reforming the Postal Act are problematic in many ways. The planned reform does not serve the interests of the individual consumer, the end customer. The legislative proposal is, in our view, also contrary to the EU Postal Services Directive. Posti shifting to making deliveries on three days per week would have a negative impact on the delivery of subscription-based magazines, national newspapers, regional newspapers and local papers. Daily postal delivery can be seen as being part of the basic services for citizens, and reducing this service level would affect the citizen’s constitutional right of access to information. In Alma Media’s view, delivery operations in accordance with the service obligation must be produced more efficiently through measures such as combining delivery networks and outsourcing delivery services.  

Finnish enterprises need world-class marketing expertise to achieve success in highly competitive and increasingly international markets. Marketing is one of the engines of growth. Together with many other industry operators, Alma has distributed information on the effectiveness of marketing and its significance in achieving financial success. The Advertising Barometer published in September predicts that marketing investments will increase after several subdued years. It will be interesting to see whether businesses have the courage to turn their intentions into concrete actions. Increasing marketing investments would be an important means to increase the competitiveness of Finnish enterprises and the country as a whole. 

For more information, please contact:
Kai Telanne, President and CEO, telephone +358 10 665 3500
Juha Nuutinen, CFO, telephone +358 10 665 3873
 

Conference, webcast and conference call:

A conference for Finnish media, investors and analysts will be held on the same day at 11.00–12.00 EEST in the Alma House (address: Alvar Aallon katu 3 C, Helsinki). In addition to the presentations held by President & CEO Kai Telanne and CFO Juha Nuutinen, participants will have an opportunity to discuss with other members of the company's management. Please note that the conference will be held in Finnish. The presentation material in English will be available on www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations at 11.00 EEST.

To participate in the conference, kindly register beforehand by e-mail, kutsut@almamedia.fi.

An international conference call and audio webcast concerning the financial result of January-September 2016 will begin at 13.00 EEST. You can participate in the conference by calling +44(0)20 7136 2050 (confirmation code: 2070711) or follow it at http://www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations.

Alma Media’s financial calendar 2017

Alma Media will publish financial reports in 2017 as follows:

– Financial Statement Bulletin for financial year 2016 on Friday, 10 February at approximately 9:00 EET

– Interim report for January–March 2017 on Friday, 28 April at approximately 9:00 EEST

– Interim report for January–June 2017 on Friday, 21 July at approximately 9:00 EEST

– Interim report for January–September 2017 on Friday, 27 October at approximately 9:00 EEST

Board of Directors

Distribution: NASDAQ Helsinki, main media, www.almamedia.com

Alma Media in brief

Alma Media is a media company focusing on the service business and journalistic content. The company’s best-known brands are Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Affärsvärlden, Uusi Suomi, Iltalehti, Aamulehti, Etuovi.com and Monster. Alma Media builds sustainable growth for its customers by utilising the opportunities of digitality, including information services, system and expert services and advertising solutions. Alma Media’s operations have expanded from Finland to the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Central Europe. Alma Media employs approximately 2,500 professionals (excluding delivery personnel), of whom approximately 30% work outside Finland. Alma Media’s revenue in 2015 was EUR 291.5 million. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com.