Alma Media’s Interim Report January–September 2022: Revenue and operating profit increased in the third quarter
Alma Media Corporation Interim Report 20 October 2022 at 8.00 a.m.
ALMA MEDIA’S INTERIM REPORT JANUARY–SEPTEMBER 2022: REVENUE AND OPERATING PROFIT INCREASED IN THE THIRD QUARTER
Financial performance July–September 2022:
• Revenue MEUR 74.5 (67.8), up 10.0%.
• The share of revenue represented by digital business was 82.3% (79.0%).
• Adjusted operating profit MEUR 19.3 (17.8), up 8.1%.
• Operating profit MEUR 19.3 (17.4), up 10.8%.
• Alma Career: The demand for labour remained strong in all of the segment’s operating countries, and revenue grew substantially. Significant marketing investments increased costs.
• Alma Consumer: A record-breaking result in spite of the challenging market conditions. Revenue grew across all business units. The increase in costs was attributable to planned investments in ICT and marketing.
• Alma Talent: Comparable revenue increased by 5.0%. Operating profit was weakened by higher printing and delivery costs as well as investments in product development and sales.
• Equity ratio 41.6% and gearing 80.8%.
• Earnings per share EUR 0.20 (0.18).
Financial performance January–September 2022:
• Revenue MEUR 230.1 (197.4), up 16.5%.
• The share of revenue represented by digital business was 81.1% (77.0%).
• Adjusted operating profit MEUR 58.2 (45.5), up 27.7%.
• Operating profit MEUR 65.0 (41.2), up 57.6%.
• Earnings per share EUR 0.68 (0.39).
|– of which digital||60.2%||56.8%||60.4%||55.8%||56.9%|
|– of which digital||75.3%||67.3%||72.4%||67.1%||65.7%|
|Digital business revenue||61.3||53.5||14.6||186.6||152.1||22.7||212.1|
|Digital business, % of revenue||82.3%||79.0||81.1%||77.0||77.0|
|Adjusted total expenses||55.3||50.0||10.6||172.2||153.0||12.5||215.6|
|Adjusted operating profit||19.3||17.8||8.1||58.2||45.5||27.7||61.1|
|% of revenue||25.9%||26.3||25.3%||23.1||22.2|
|Operating profit (loss)||19.3||17.4||10.8||65.0||41.2||57.6||56.8|
|% of revenue||25.9%||25.7||28.3%||20.9||20.6|
|Profit for the period before tax||20.2||17.4||16.1||67.8||40.4||68.1||56.3|
|Profit for the period||16.2||14.6||11.0||55.7||32.4||71.7||44.3|
The operating environment in 2022
The economic impacts of Russia’s war of aggression and dwindling economic growth were reflected in the operating environment in the third quarter. The European economy was adversely affected by sanctions, supply chain disruptions and problems associated with the availability of raw materials, among other things. The prices of energy, raw materials and food continued to rise quickly, while market interest rates rose sharply. Combined, these developments have had a negative impact on consumer confidence, household purchasing power, consumption and economic growth. However, at the same time, pandemic-related restrictions have been eased in Europe, which has a significant positive impact on activity in the service industries. The national economies of Finland and Alma Media’s other operating countries are still expected to grow this year, but growth has clearly slowed.
The European Central Bank (ECB) estimated in September that economic growth in the eurozone will average 3.1% this year but subsequently slow down to less than one per cent (0.9%) next year. Inflation is still exceptionally high. According to the ECB’s forecast, the inflation rate for the full year will be 8.1%, with inflation slowing down to 5.5% next year. While economic development in 2022 involves uncertainty, the general economic situation in our operating countries is nevertheless moderate.
Outlook for 2022 (unchanged, updated on 8 July 2022)
Alma Media expects its full-year revenue and adjusted operating profit from continuing operations in 2022 to increase significantly from the 2021 level. In 2021, the fullyear revenue of the Group’s continuing operations was MEUR 275.4 and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 61.1.
Market situation in the main markets
According to Kantar TNS, the advertising volume in August increased by 2.8% compared to August 2021, while the advertising volume for January–August grew by 3.4% year-on-year. In August, advertising sales declined by 7.1% in newspapers and by 10.5% in magazines, but advertising sales for online media increased by 7.1%. Advertisers in the financial industry, the tourism and transport sector and the clothing and cosmetics industries increased their media advertising the most in August. Brand advertising grew by 2.0%, retail advertising by 5.8% and classified advertising by 1.4% year-on-year. Job advertising declined by 12.5%.
In terms of volume, the total market for afternoon papers declined by 4.3% (-10.5%) in the third quarter of 2022.
According to the Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector, 6,798 new passenger cars were registered in September (4.0%). The number of first registrations of new passenger cars in January–September was 62,919 (-20%). The production of new cars was hindered by the component shortage and by production disruptions caused by the pandemic. The Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector expects that the order backlog, which has been increased by the production delays, will mostly not be filled until next year. Sales of used passenger cars declined by approximately 13% in September. The transaction volume for used passenger cars declined by 11.7% year-on-year in January–September.
According to the Federation of Real Estate Agency in Finland, the transaction volumes in the market for used housing and new housing slowed down. In the used housing market the trade has returned to normal after two years of high activity. The number of used residences sold was 5,365 in September and 15,789 in the third quarter as a whole. A total of 49,112 used residences were sold in January–September, which is 12% lower than in the comparison period but 1.8% higher than the average for the preceding five years. In the third quarter 1,283 new units in housing companies were sold, which is 48.6% lower than in the comparison period.
In addition to Finland, Alma Media’s main markets are the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Eastern Central Europe. The European Commission published its latest GDP forecasts on 14 July 2022. According to the forecast, Finnish GDP growth (3.5% in 2021) will slow down to 1.8% this year, the Czech GDP will grow by 2.3% and Slovakia’s GDP will grow by 1.9%.
According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate in August was 2.4% in the Czech Republic, 7.3% in Finland and 6.0% in Slovakia.
CEO’s review: Growth in revenue and operating profit in a turbulent business environment
Alma Media’s business performance in the third quarter was strong in spite of the disruptions caused by Russia’s war of aggression. Revenue increased by 10.0% to MEUR 74.5 and adjusted operating profit grew by 8.1% to MEUR 19.3. According to the financial guidance we issued in July, we expect our full-year revenue and adjusted operating profit from continuing operations in 2022 to increase significantly from the 2021 level.
The Alma Career segment had another strong quarter. The continued brisk demand for recruitment services helped increase revenue by 24.4% to MEUR 27.3. Adjusted operating profit grew by 11.3% to MEUR 10.0, representing 36.9% of revenue.
The demand for recruitment services remained strong in all of our operating countries. The continued high level of activity in the recruitment market is driven by intense competition for skilled labour. The low unemployment rate in our key operating countries also boosts demand for our added-value services.
The Career United project, which seeks to deepen internal cooperation, progressed as planned, which will also help curb the increase in costs going forward. The growth in expenses in the third quarter (+33.4%) was attributable to planned marketing investments and the increases in ICT and sales personnel implemented in early 2022.
Customer invoicing has remained strong, and we expect to see continued revenue growth during the rest of the year, although there have been signs of the growth of customer invoicing slowing down, particularly in the Baltic countries.
In the Alma Consumer segment, all business units developed favourably. Revenue increased by 7.9% to MEUR 25.4, with the rate of organic growth being 8.9%. Adjusted operating profit was MEUR 6.8, representing 26.9% of revenue. The share of revenue represented by digital business rose to 82.6%, and the positive development of digital advertising continued. Revenue from media and media-related services increased by 10.4%. We continued our planned investments, particularly focusing on marketing and service development in marketplaces and comparison services.
Geopolitical tensions and the news coverage of the war have increased the demand for news and media consumption. The demand for the paid Iltalehti Plus service continued to develop favourably. Synergies between the Nettix business and other Finnish marketplaces and media were achieved as planned.
In the housing business area, revenue increased by 17.2% in the third quarter.
In the automotive segment, the industry’s global supply chain problems and challenges caused by the component shortage slowed down the growth of the business. Increased uncertainty among consumers has thus far been reflected in housing and automotive marketplaces and advertising clearly less than expected.
In the Alma Talent segment, comparable revenue – excluding the Baltic telemarketing business divested in the spring – increased by 5.0% in spite of the market conditions being difficult for financial media, with stock markets falling and IPO activity being very low. The segment’s strong digital transformation continued, with the share of digital business rising to 61.2% of revenue. Adjusted operating profit declined by 4.9% to MEUR 4.8, representing 21.7% of revenue. Profitability was weakened by increased printing and delivery costs as well as investments in product development and sales.
The rate of revenue growth was 3.2% in Alma Talent Media and 4.7% in Alma Talent Services. In Alma Talent Media, content revenue grew by 4.7% and digital content revenue by 9.1%. One strategically significant success was the increase in Alma Talent Services’ continuously invoiced services (15,0%), which was driven by growth in revenue from business information, law-related services and marketplaces, among others.
Our financial position has been strengthened as planned thanks to our excellent profit performance and strong cash flow. Our gearing at the end of the third quarter stood at 80.8%. Our equity ratio was 41.6% at the end of the quarter.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has slowed economic growth in Alma Media’s operating countries: inflation has accelerated, market interest rates have risen, consumers’ confidence in their finances has declined substantially, and geopolitical tensions have increased. Alma Media’s financial performance has been strong despite these factors. Our success over the past quarter is evidence of Alma Media’s excellent performance and capabilities.
We will continue to build future growth through the continuous development of our operations and pursue new business initiatives.
President and CEO
Kai Telanne, President and CEO, tel. +358 (0)10 665 3500
Juha Nuutinen, CFO, tel. +358 (0)10 665 3873
News conference and live webcast
An analyst and investor webcast and teleconference 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 to: email@example.com.
The live webcast can be followed via https://almamedia.videosync.fi/2022-q3-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 calendar 2023
• Financial Statement Bulletin for financial year 2022 on Thursday, 16 February 2023 approximately at 8:00 EET
• Interim Report for January–March 2023 on Friday, 21 April 2023, at approximately 8:00 EET
• Interim Report for January–June 2023 on Wednesday, 19 July 2023, at approximately 8:00 EET
• Interim Report for January–September 2023 on Thursday, 19 October 2023, at approximately 8:00 EET
• The Financial Statements Bulletin for the financial year 2022 on Thursday, 16 February 2023, at approximately 8:00 EET
• The Financial Statements, Report by the Board of Directors, Auditor’s Report, Sustainability Report and Corporate Governance Statement for the financial year 2022 will be published on Tuesday, 14 March 2023.
• The Annual General Meeting is planned to be held on Tuesday, 4 April 2023. 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.fi/en
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 businesses and professionals. Alma Media’s international business in Eastern Central Europe, Sweden and the Baltic countries consists of recruitment services and an online marketplace for commercial properties.
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 of which the share of digital business was 76.9%. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.fi/en/.
- Published: 20.10.2022, 08:00
- Category: Stock exchange release