Alma Media’s Financial Statements Bulletin January–December 2021: The recruitment business and acquisitions substantially increased revenue and operating profit
Alma Media Corporation Financial Statement Bulletin 16 February 2022 at 8.00 a.m.
ALMA MEDIA’S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN JANUARY–DECEMBER 2021: THE RECRUITMENT BUSINESS AND ACQUISITIONS SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED REVENUE AND OPERATING PROFIT
Financial performance October–December 2021:
- Revenue MEUR 78.0 (61.9), up 25.9%.
- The share of revenue represented by digital business was 76.9% (69.3%).
- Adjusted operating profit MEUR 15.5 (11.1), up 39.5%.
- Operating profit MEUR 15.5 (10.8), up 44.4%.
- Earnings per share from continuing operations EUR 0.14 (0.08).
- Alma Career: Strong demand for recruitment services continued, significantly increasing revenue and profitability.
- Alma Talent: Media revenue was on a par with the previous year. Service revenue grew organically and due to acquisitions. Operating profit decreased, as expected, due to investments in product development and marketing.
- Alma Consumer: Digital media and marketplaces continued to grow. Revenue and operating profit were also increased by acquisitions.
- The balance sheet position improved compared to the previous quarter: the equity ratio was 34.7% and gearing was 109.2%.
Financial performance January–December 2021:
- Revenue MEUR 275.4 (230.2), up 19.6%.
- The share of revenue represented by digital business was 77.0% (68.6%).
- Adjusted operating profit MEUR 61.1 (45.4), up 34.7%.
- Operating profit MEUR 56.8 (43.1), up 31.7%.
- Earnings per share from continuing operations EUR 0.53 (0.33).
- The Board’s dividend proposal is EUR 0.35 (0.30) per share.
|– of which digital||35.4%||28.7%||33.5%||25.4%|
|– of which digital||77.6%||75.4%||77.8%||74.5%|
|– of which digital||62.2%||51.8%||65.7%||53.8%|
|Adjusted total expenses||62.6||51.4||21.9||215.6||186.0||15.9|
|Adjusted operating profit||15.5||11.1||39.5||61.1||45.4||34.7|
|% of revenue||19.9||18.0||22.2||19.7|
|Operating profit (loss)||15.5||10.8||44.4||56.8||43.1||31.7|
|% of revenue||19.9||17.4||20.6||18.7|
|Profit for the period||11.8||7.4||59.5||44.3||33.3||33.1|
|Earnings per share, EUR (basic and diluted)||0.14||0.08||85.3||0.53||0.33||58.5|
|Digital business revenue||60.0||42.9||39.7||212.1||158.4||33.9|
|Digital business, % of revenue||76.9||69.3||77.0||68.8|
Dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting:
On 31 December 2021, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 144,833,995 (137,958,899). Alma Media’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.35 per share be paid for the financial year 2021 (2020: EUR 0.30 per share). The dividend will be paid to shareholders who are registered in Alma Media Corporation’s shareholder register maintained by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date, 31 March 2022. The Board of Directors proposes that the dividend be paid on 7 April 2022. Based on the number of outstanding shares on the closing date 31 December 2021, the dividend payment totals EUR 28,774,470 (24,678,651).
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.
The operating environment in 2022
The national economies of Finland and Alma Media’s other operating countries are expected to see continued substantial growth, but the period of rapid growth is expected to level off in 2022. The global COVID-19 pandemic and the variants of the virus affect the overall economic situation and continue to create uncertainty regarding economic development in 2022. Nevertheless, according to forecasts, the overall economic picture in our operating
countries appears fairly stable in spite of increasing labour shortages, inflation and production costs, the gradual normalisation of stimulating monetary policy on the part of central banks, and geopolitical tensions.
The demand for digital advertising, media and services is expected to remain strong. The digitalisation of services and the ecosystems they create is expected to accelerate in the next few years, and sales and purchases will continue to move to digital marketplaces. E-commerce is also expected to accelerate with regard to larger consumer goods; for example, in the automotive and housing markets. Data, analytics, machine learning and automation will become increasingly important, which calls for increasing investments in technology.
Outlook for 2022
In 2022, Alma Media expects its full-year revenue and adjusted operating profit to increase from the 2021 level. The full-year revenue for 2021 was MEUR 275.4 and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 61.1.
CEO’s review: Strong growth across the board
The performance of Alma Media’s businesses was excellent in the fourth quarter as economic growth continued. Adjusted operating profit grew by almost 40% in the fourth quarter, reaching MEUR 15.5 and representing nearly 20% of revenue.
In the final quarter of 2021, the continued strong demand for recruitment services drove revenue and profitability to record high levels in the Alma Career segment, where revenue grew by an unprecedented 57.2% to MEUR 24.1 (15.3). Although COVID-19 infection rates increased due to the spread of the Omicron variant and the authorities had to again impose restrictions, the strong recovery of business continued in all of our operating countries and customer invoicing reached a record high level. The high level of activity in the recruitment market is believed to be driven by not only the realisation of pent-up demand but also the intensifying competition for labour, which has also led to increases in wages. In addition to recruitment advertising, revenue growth was strong in the digital training service Seduo and other added-value services related to recruitment. We expect to see continued strong growth in the next quarter.
In the Alma Talent segment, revenue increased by 4.2% to MEUR 27.5. Media and service businesses both developed in line with our strategy and expectations. We reached a new milestone in digital business when the share of digital business in the Alma Talent segment’s revenue exceeded 50%, with the rate of growth being 12.8%.
Further factors underpinning the strong performance included acquisitions and the organic growth of the service business in marketplaces, as well as digital company information and law-related services. The demand for training services still suffered from COVID-19 restrictions to some extent, but demand is expected to recover as the remote work recommendation and meeting restrictions are lifted. HR investments in product development and sales were increased during the review period with the aim of ensuring long-term competitiveness.
Strong growth was seen in all business areas in the Alma Consumer segment. Revenue grew by 39.0% and the result improved significantly in October–December, both organically and due to acquisitions. Digital business accounted for 89.1% of revenue. Housing, automotive and mobility marketplaces saw strong demand. In the media business, particularly strong growth was seen in digital advertising as Iltalehti’s advertising revenue reached yet another record. Investments in regional advertising sales also strengthened the market position in the SME customer segment. The integration of Nettix into Alma Media and the Alma Consumer business segment progressed as planned. The business and its support services were integrated with Alma Media’s processes, and the strengthening of product and service synergies, refining of harmonised operating models, and building of a coherent company culture continued.
We have carried out significant acquisitions this year, which has naturally affected our financial position and increased our gearing ratio. Our financial position strengthened as planned in the fourth quarter, and our solvency improved substantially thanks to our good profit performance and strong cash flow. Our gearing at the end of 2021 stood at 109.2%, compared to 160.0% at the end of the second quarter of 2021. Our equity ratio improved from 29.4% to 34.7% during the same time period. In December, Alma Media concluded a long-term financing arrangement that replaces the temporary bridge loan financing arrangement.
In spite of the fluctuating COVID-19 situation, we are looking towards the post-pandemic period with confidence. We will continue to operate under a multi-local work model. Through the many twists and turns of the pandemic, Alma Media employees have demonstrated their adaptability, flexibility and willingness to work towards our shared goals. We are in a good position to start the new year.
Kai Telanne, President and CEO, telephone +358 (0)10 665 3500
Juha Nuutinen, CFO, telephone +358 (0)10 665 3873
News conference and live webcast
A combined analyst, investor and media conference and webcast will be held in English by President & CEO Kai Telanne and CFO Juha Nuutinen at 11.00–12.00.
The conference will be held in the Alma House (address: Alvar Aallon katu 3 C, Helsinki). To participate in the conference in Alma House, we kindly ask you to register beforehand by e-mail, email@example.com.
The live webcast can be followed via https://almamedia.videosync.fi/q4-2021-results/. Questions can be asked through the webcast chat function.
An on-demand version of the webcast and the presentation material will be available on the company's website on the same day www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations.
Alma Media’s Financial Reporting 2022
Alma Media Corporation will publish its financial reports in 2022 as follows:
– Interim report for January–March 2022 on Friday, 22 April 2022, approximately at 8:00 EEST
– Interim report for January–June 2022 on Wednesday, 20 July 2022, approximately at 8:00 EEST
– Interim report for January–September 2021 on Thursday, 20 October 2022, approximately at 8:00 EEST
Financial Statements, Report by the Board of Directors, Auditor’s Report and Corporate Governance Statement for financial year 2021 will be published on Tuesday, 8 March 2022.
The Annual General Meeting is planned to be held on Tuesday, 29 March 2022.
ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION
Board of Directors
Distribution: NASDAQ Helsinki, main media, www.almamedia.com
Alma Media in brief
Alma Media is a digital service business and media company with a strong capacity for renewal. We are building sustainable growth from media to services, providing content and services that benefit users in their everyday lives, work and leisure time. In Finland, our best-known brands include Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Iltalehti, Etuovi.com, Nettiauto and Nettimoto. Our recruitment services include prace.cz and jobs.cz in the Czech Republic, Profesia.sk in Slovakia and mojposao.net in Croatia.
In Finland, our business operations include leading housing and automotive marketplaces, financial and professional media, national consumer media and content and data services for professionals and businesses. Alma Media’s international business in Eastern Central Europe, Sweden and the Baltic countries consists of recruitment services, an online marketplace for commercial properties and direct marketing services.
Alma Media operates in 11 countries in Europe and employs approximately 1,500 professionals. Alma Media’s revenue from continuing operations was EUR 275.4 million in 2021. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com.
- Published: 16.2.2022, 08:00
- Category: Stock exchange release