CORRECTED HEADLINE: Alma Media’s Financial Statements Release 2016: Strong Q4, substantial growth in operating profit

CORRECTED HEADLINE: Alma Media corrects the headline of company's financial statements bulletin 2016 (previously incorrectly 2017)

Alma Media Corporation          Financial Statements Bulletin          10 February 2017 at 9:00 a.m. (EET)  

Alma Media’s Financial Statements Release 2016:  

STRONG Q4, SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH IN OPERATING PROFIT  

Financial performance October–December 2016:  

  • Revenue MEUR 93.6 (78.6), up 19.2%.  
  • Adjusted operating profit MEUR 10.6 (7.1), or 11.2% (9.0%) of revenue, up 49.5%.  
  • Operating profit MEUR 6.2 (0.9), or 6.7% (1.1%) of revenue, up 596.4%.  
  • Earnings per share EUR 0.06 (0.00).  
  • Alma Markets: Strong growth continued internationally as well as in Finland.  
  • Alma Talent: Talentum acquisition increased the segment’s adjusted operating profit.  
  • Alma News & Life: Online advertising continued to grow.  
  • Alma Regions: Decline in revenue slowed and profitability remained on par with the previous year.  

Financial performance January–December 2016:  

  • Revenue MEUR 353.2 (291.5), up 21.2%.  
  • Adjusted operating profit MEUR 35.2 (23.4), or 10.0% (8.0%) of revenue, up 50.4%.  
  • Operating profit MEUR 26.8 (17.7), or 7.6% (6.1%) of revenue, up 51.5%.  
  • Earnings per share EUR 0.20 (0.13).  
  • The Board’s dividend proposal is EUR 0.16 per share  
  • At the end of the period, the gearing ratio was 41.4% and the equity ratio 45.7%.  
KEY FIGURES   2016   2015   Change   2016   2015   Change  
MEUR   Q4   Q4   %   Q1–Q4   Q1–Q4   %  
Revenue   93.6   78.6   19.2   353.2   291.5   21.2  
Content revenue   33.3   28.6   16.1   128.3   104.1   23.3  
     Content revenue, print   29.2   26.3   11.2   113.5   97.0   17.0  
     Content revenue, online   4.1   2.4   71.0   14.8   7.1   109.3  
Advertising revenue   45.9   40.9   12.2   171.0   148.2   15.3  
     Advertising revenue, print   17.9   17.6   1.7   68.5   66.2   3.5  
     Advertising revenue, online   28.0   23.3   20.5   102.6   82.0   25.1  
Service revenue   14.5   9.0   60.5   53.9   39.2   37.6  
Adjusted total expenses   83.3   71.7   16.1   318.9   268.7   18.7  
Adjusted EBITDA   15.2   10.8   39.7   53.3   37.4   42.4  
EBITDA    13.8   6.1   127.7   47.9   34.5   38.8  
Adjusted operating profit   10.6   7.1   49.5   35.2   23.4   50.4  
% of revenue   11.2   9.0   10.0   8.0  
Operating profit (loss)   6.2   0.9   596.4   26.8   17.7   51.5  
% of revenue   6.7   1.1   7.6   6.1  
Profit for the period   4.9   0.3   1,530.2   19.9   12.1   64.6  
Earnings per share, EUR (undiluted and basic)   0.06   0.00   3,533.3   0.20   0.13   57.4  
Online sales   36.4   29.1   25.0   133.5   104.3        27.9  
Online sales, % of revenue   38.9   37.1   37.8   35.8      

Dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting:  

On 31 December 2016, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 124,646,114 (119,915,169). Alma Media’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.16 per share (2015: capital repayment of EUR 0.12 per share) be paid from the reserve for invested non-restricted equity for the financial year 2016. Based on the number of shares on the closing date 31 December 2016, the dividend payment totals EUR 13,181,309 (2015: capital repayment EUR 9,885,982).  

No essential changes have taken place after the end of the financial year with respect to the company’s financial standing. The proposed distribution of profit does not, in the view of the Board of Directors, compromise the company’s liquidity.
 

Outlook for 2017  

The Finnish economy is expected to grow by 1–2% in 2017. Alma Media’s significant operating countries in Eastern Central Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are expected to see economic growth of 2–4%.  Macroeconomic development affects both consumer demand and advertising volume. The structural transformation of advertising will continue in 2017; online advertising will grow, while print media advertising will decline.  

In 2017, Alma Media expects its full-year revenue to remain at the previous year’s level and its adjusted operating profit to increase from the 2016 level. The full-year revenue for 2016 was MEUR 353.2, and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 35.2.  

Kai Telanne, President and CEO:  

Alma Media’s business developed well in 2016. Full-year revenue grew by 21 per cent to MEUR 353 and adjusted operating profit increased by 50 per cent to MEUR 35. Earnings per share rose to EUR 0.20 in spite of restructuring costs, impairment and an increase in the number of shares. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.16 per share be paid.  

The growth in revenue was attributable to the strong organic development of Alma Markets and Alma News & Life, as well as acquisitions. Growth was also supported by the media advertising market in Finland, which showed signs of recovery in the fourth quarter. The improved profitability is particularly attributable to the Alma Markets and Alma News & Life segments, which both achieved organic sales growth. 

 The Alma Markets segment’s revenue and profitability improved in each quarter thanks to excellent development efforts and work with customers, as well as the favourable operating environment in Eastern Central Europe. The revenue and operating profit of the marketplace businesses also increased substantially in Finland. The segment’s full-year adjusted operating profit grew by nearly 40 per cent year-on-year, to MEUR 19. 

In the Alma News & Life segment, Iltalehti’s digital business saw strong development. The factors contributing to the growth included programmatic ad buying, content marketing and mobile advertising. The adjusted operating profit grew to MEUR 7 on the strength of good digital sales and cost savings in print media.  

For Alma Talent, the year was a time of building a new entity. The integration of Talentum’s businesses went according to plan and the estimated cost synergies will be achieved in full. Comparable revenue decreased by three per cent. The decline was particularly attributable to the service business. The integration process has made Alma Talent a unique media and service provider in Finland and Sweden, with the aim of introducing multimedia products and services to the market that offer superior usability and richer content.  

In Alma Regions, the decline in revenue from publishing operations slowed in late 2016. The segment’s adjusted operating profit remained on a par with the previous year thanks to cost savings. Digital media advertising sales grew faster than the overall market by a substantial margin, but the growth was not yet sufficient to compensate for the decline in print media advertising sales. 

 The Group’s financial position improved further due to strong cash flow from operating activities. At the end of December, the equity ratio was 46 per cent and the gearing ratio was 41 per cent. Interest-bearing net debt declined by MEUR 19.1. The strong financial foundation provides operating space for future investments and the acceleration of growth by leveraging the opportunities presented by digitisation.  

The Finnish government’s favourable view on the European Commission’s proposal to reduce value added taxes on digital publications and books is a positive signal for our industry. The potential lowering of the Finnish digital VAT rate from the current level of 24 per cent to 10 per cent in 2018 would help Finnish media companies maintain their competitiveness while also increasing the demand and use of digital services and content.

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 EET 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 2016 will begin at 13.00 EET. You can participate in the conference by calling +44(0)20 3427 1912 (confirmation code: 4381793) 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:  

– 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  

Alma Media’s Annual Review 2016, including corporate responsibility reporting, is scheduled to be published in calendar week 12, 2017 at the latest.  

The Annual General Meeting is planned to be held on Wednesday, 22 March 2017. Financial Statements, Report by the Board of Directors, Auditor's Report and Corporate Governance Statement for the 2016 financial year will be published on Wednesday, 1 March 2017.  

The materials related to the Annual General Meeting will be available on the Alma Media website.

ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION

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, 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 2,300 professionals (excluding delivery personnel), of whom approximately 30% work outside Finland. Alma Media’s revenue in 2016 was EUR 353.2 million. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com .