Alma Media > Investors > Markets > Risks

The most significant risks and uncertainties

Alma Media defines as risks events or circumstances that could prevent reaching a strategic, operative or economic objective. The risks are classified as strategic, operative and financing risks.

At Alma Media Group, the task of risk management is to detect, evaluate and monitor business opportunities, threats and risks to ensure the achievement of objectives and business continuity. The risk management process identifies and controls the risks, develops appropriate risk management methods and regularly reports on risk issues to the risk management organisation and the Board of Directors. Risk management is part of Alma Media’s internal control function and thereby part of good corporate governance.

Alma Media uses a harmonised risk assessment and reporting model. With regard to risks, Alma Media monitors the development of national, EU-level and international regulations and agreements. In the risk matrix, the risks are prioritised by estimating the impacts in euros and by the probability of the realisation of the risk. In estimating the impacts of the realisation of risks, reputation impacts and environmental impacts are taken into account in addition to the estimated direct euro-denominated impacts. Each business area, function and unit is responsible for the management of risks related to their operations.

Strategic risks

The most critical strategic risks for Alma Media are a significant drop in its print newspaper readership and a decrease in the online audience of digital media and a permanent decline in advertising sales. The media industry is undergoing changes following the transformation in media consumption and technological development. An increasingly important source of competitive advantage, but also a strategic risk, in Alma Media’s business is the ability to use customer data to improve the product and service offering for advertisers and enrich end user services. Alma Media will manage customer data and behavioural data by centralising customer data repositories and deploying analysis and activation technology, taking regulatory requirements into consideration. As the significance of data in Alma Media’s business has increased, the Group’s strategic risks also include cyber risks. The regulation of the media sector and the related market practices are becoming stricter. As technology advances and the focus of media consumption shifts to digital channels, Alma Media is responding to the transformation of the operating environment by developing digital products and services for consumers and businesses.

Fluctuating economic cycles are reflected in the development of advertising sales. 

Operative risks

The most significant operational risks are disturbances of information technology and communications. A widespread pandemic may have a significant impact on the demand for services and products on the one hand and, on the other hand, it can cause substantial production disruptions in business processes due to significant risks related to employee health.

Financing risks

The Chief Financial Officer of the Group is responsible for the Group’s financing. Alma Media’s centralised financing function manages the operative financing of all companies in the Group. The function includes the management of payments and liquidity, funding and investments.

Capital market arrangements are used for long-term financing. The cash surplus is invested according to the Group’s financing policy in financially sound investment instruments with a maturity of less than one year.

Alma Media has no significant financing risks. The financing risks are described in more detail in the Financial Statements.

RiskRisk definitionRisk mitigating actions 

Strategic risks


Uncertainty in the economic operating environment

The negative impacts of macroeconomic cycles and the downturn on the Group’s business operations. Negative impacts arise particularly from the decline of the advertising market and market volumes (demand or supply) in the Group’s significant business areas in recruitment, housing or the automotive sector. The impacts of cost inflation on profitability.

– Increased global uncertainty and geopolitical risks in our operating countries can have a significant impact on the demand for services and cause significant production disruptions in business processes.

– A widespread pandemic may have a significant impact on the demand for services and products on the one hand and, on the other hand, it can cause substantial production disruptions in business processes due to significant risks to employee health.
The active development of the company’s business portfolio and strengthening stable business models. Expanding into several markets in addition to the domestic market. The ability to react quickly helps adapt costs during market cycles.

– Continuous monitoring and reacting quickly to the changing environment. The organisation’s ability adapt its operations to the prevailing circumstances. Responding in accordance with the continuity plan if necessary.

– Monitoring the operating environment and reacting to changing circumstances with sufficient speed. The organisation’s ability to adapt to the prevailing circumstances. Occupational safety measures concerning employees.

Rapid changes in consumer behaviour

The ability to utilise the growing amount of customer data in delivering better and more targeted service solutions. The capacity of product and service development to anticipate changes in customer needs. Third-party cookies cannot be used for data collection and, subsequently, for targeting advertising and content sales.

– Changes in media behaviour that cause a significant drop in subscribers and readers, resulting in a permanent decline in digital advertising sales.
Business development driven by customer needs. Measures to promote digital business competitiveness and data management. Sufficient investments and resources in data management and systems as well as the development of data privacy procedures and employee competence. Increasing the number of registered users of services and increasing the use of Alma ID.

– Maintaining and developing an interactive media-reader relationship, ensuring that content is interesting, customer satisfaction surveys, Alma Media’s internal cooperation in content production, content sales, advertising sales, support functions and product development. Distribution partnerships and cooperation with publishers.

Change in the competitive landscape and intensifying competition

Expansion of international platforms, industry convergence, reduced price competitiveness. Technological solutions and implementations by platform providers that restrict the operations of other companies.

– Changes in the business model of marketplaces, the capacity of product and service development to assess changes in consumer behaviour or invest in the appropriate technological service solutions.

– New competitive business models challenge the existing business operations. Aggressive competition for market share.
Service business development, active development of the existing business, diversification of revenue sources, geographic diversification of business.

– Business development driven by customer needs. Measures to promote digital business competitiveness. Developing the user interfaces of services as well as purchasing paths and payment systems, for example. Sufficient investments and resources in research and development.

– Continuous development of the organisation and ensuring an agile decision-making model. Continuous monitoring of the market and rolling strategy work.

Significant changes in the regulatory environment

The authorities’ interpretations relating to the practical application of the GDPR and the EU’s expanding data regulation. Violations of the GDPR or other regulations governing data protection.

– The final form and impacts of the EU’s data regulation package (DSA, DMA, DGA, Data Act, AI Act) are not yet known but, in the worst-case scenario, the impacts on Alma Media’s business operations could be significant.

– Internal training, monitoring legislation and the regulatory interpretations of the authorities, building processes for legally required changes in the organisation.

Scenario analyses and preparation for various outcomes together with the business. Internal training, monitoring legislation and the regulatory interpretations of the authorities, increasing awareness of legally required changes in the organisation.

Operational risks


Risks related to cybersecurity and data security

Viruses, worms, ransomware, and other malware that can compromise system access and data.

Unauthorised use of the company’s systems or theft of sensitive information, including data breaches involving customer data. Disruption of the company’s internal or external services due to hostile action, such as denial-of-service attacks.

– Vulnerabilities arising from the inadequate data security practices of third parties, suppliers and partners.

Adequate plans and resources for responding to and recovering from cyber attacks. Increasing employee awareness through data security training.

Securing, controls and monitoring of workstations, mobile devices and cloud software. Systematic installation of data security and software updates, reacting quickly to acute vulnerabilities.

– Identification of critical suppliers and monitoring cybersecurity capabilities. Restricting access to the company’s network to devices secured according to agreed-upon practices.
Technology infrastructure vulnerabilities– Disruptions to the company’s own IT solutions or services aimed at customers due to inadequate scalability or flexibility.

– Disruptions to services due to unexpected interruptions in technical infrastructure, including faults in data centres and networks.

– Loss of critical data, including software source codes, and back-ups of unique data.
– Designing solutions to be resilient and scalable and moving them from the company’s own data centres to the public cloud. Testing for errors and deviations.

– Identifying critical infrastructure and preparing contingency and recovery plans.

– Protecting the company’s services from denial-of-service attacks, including the use of content distribution networks. Back-up mechanisms in place for critical data, including data recovery testing.
Copyright– Leaks of business-critical data and business secrets.

– Unauthorised use of publications or data, and problems with the utilisation of open source code.
– Effective practices for protecting business-critical data and source code.

– Active monitoring of the use of open source software and related terms and conditions. Practices, guidelines and employee training regarding the use of artificial intelligence.
Disturbances related to supply chain stability and management– Problems with the availability of materials, goods, tools and services.

– Disruptions in the delivery of third-party software or services due to unexpected supplier problems or failing to notice the end of the life-cycle.
– Regular assessment of critical suppliers, favouring technology choices with multiple suppliers.

– Monitoring the use of third-party software, services and customer support at Alma Media, taking into account the end of the life-cycle in a timely manner.
Employees and expertise– Employee turnover and ensuring critical competencies.

– Occupational safety and employee workload.

– Uncontrolled growth of employee expenses and rising labour costs and/or declining productivity.
– We ensure the continuous development of competence through a wide range of training activities. We identify future competence needs and focus on them with special development measures.

– We look after the well-being at work and occupational safety of employees by providing diverse support for developing and maintaining well-being at work.

– We develop remuneration processes and practices and closely monitor market salary data.
Physical safety– Threats to the physical safety of employees at the company’s premises: a threatening intrusion, burglary or other violent act against employees.– Security guard arrangements for business premises and other measures to promote security. Guidelines and regular exercises to prepare for threatening situations.

Financial risks


Operative financial risks

Misconduct concerning the company’s assets.

– A material error in the company’s reporting or the company’s inability to meet regulatory requirements.
Effective internal control environment processes and monitoring measures. Utilisation of system controls as the first priority and monitoring critical processes. Effective reporting of deviations. Preventing dangerous work combinations.

– The operating model for the reporting process and ensuring adequate controls. Developing employee competence and utilising system controls.

Market risks

A significant increase in interest rates.

– A significant change in exchange rates (CZK, USD, SEK) and the negative impact of the changes on the company’s financial results and financial position.

– Impairment of goodwill or other non-current asset and consequent write-downs.

– Treasury policy and the hedging principles defined therein.

– Regular monitoring and rolling strategy work.

Liquidity risk

The company is unable to cover its maturing obligations in the short term.

– The company is unable to renew maturing financing agreements.

– Alma Media’s ability to satisfy the terms of financing agreements, especially covenants.
Treasury policy, financing plan and agreements, sufficiently long maturity of loans, sufficient equity ratio. Alma Media renewed its long-term financing agreement with a maturity of 36 months. The financing agreement includes an extension option of 12/24 months.

– Operating guidelines and the continuous monitoring of covenants. Proactive risk identification and preparing for risks in advance.
Credit risks– Customer insolvency and credit loss risks. The need to extend the payment terms of customer receivables and the resulting negative impact on working capital.

– The inability of suppliers and partners to fulfil their obligations, resulting in disruptions to the company’s operational reliability.
– Credit policy and the assessment of credit customers before granting a payment period. Monitoring and active collection measures.

– Careful assessment of suppliers and other partners and the monitoring of contractual relationships. Active measures.

Risks related to corporate governance and sustainability include environmental risks (climate change), governance-related risks and risks pertaining to social responsibility (employees, consumers, value chain). 

ESG risks Risk definition Risk mitigating actions

Risks related to the environment

The identified risks and opportunities related to climate change are described in the results of the +2–-4 degree climate scenario work carried out by the company (Annual Review 2023, p. 33–34). Alma Media manages its environmental risks by systematically developing its operations in accordance with the Group’s science-based SBTi climate targets and by engaging the commitment of its key suppliers to the Group’s climate targets. The environmental risks associated with purchasing are reduced by Alma Media operating in 12 European countries. The procurement of each country unit is focused on the domestic market or nearby regions, which enables comprehensive oversight of suppliers.

Governance-related risks

Managing increasing data regulation and having the capability to to respond to regulatory requirements.

– Misconduct related to intellectual property rights (deliberate and unintentional).

– Loss of reputation as a trusted partner, inability to comply with regulations or stakeholder expectations.
Alma Media actively monitors upcoming regulatory changes in order to identify business opportunities and risks.

– Careful preparation of contractual terms and terms of use, measures and controls in the technology infrastructure.

– Continuous employee training and monitoring. Continuous updating of the Code of Conduct. All Alma Media employees complete the training regularly.
Social responsibility: own employees– Decline in employer reputation, having a reputation as a reliable employer.

– Employee safety and inappropriate treatment.
– In our human resources policy, we observe fair, transparent and open policy principles. We continuously monitor employee satisfaction with various surveys.

– The Group’s occupational safety committee, together with supervisors, ensures compliance with occupational safety requirements and that the instructions and policies issued cover the requirements for a safe working environment.
Social responsibility: consumers and customers– The erosion of the appreciation and reliability of media content. Monitoring and managing editorial content is challenging in the digital environment.

– Failures and errors in the careful processing of consumer customers’ data and compliance with the GDPR and/or other data protection regulations.

– Fraudulent or criminal activity by a customer through a marketplace or platform operated by the company.
– Developing editorial teams’ practices and employee competence. Reader satisfaction surveys, customer contacts and feedback. Participation in journalism industry events and organisations.

– Investments in technology, developing internal data processing practices and strengthening employee competence.

– Adequate restrictions on the use of the services. Product development measures aimed at user safety and reliability.
Social responsibility: supply chains and partnerships– Failure in supplier selection.

– Ethics violations by the Group’s subcontractors or employees could potentially have financial or legal repercussions for Alma Media and they could damage the Group’s reputation.
– Careful assessment of suppliers before signing an agreement. Procurement-related policies and guidelines.

– Alma Media requires all of its employees and its most significant subcontractors to commit to the Group’s ethical business principles and takes a goal-driven approach to the development of its organisational culture and operating methods and strives to minimise risks through target setting, reporting and communication, among other things.