CEO's Review

Kai Telanne, President and CEO:

(published 23 October 2019)

Alma Media’s profitability developed positively in the third quarter. The adjusted operating profit was MEUR 16.1 and the operating profit margin was 20.1 per cent. Profitability was improved by higher digital revenue and effective cost control. Alma Media’s revenue declined by 1.6 per cent to MEUR 80.3. In the past quarter, the growth in digital content sales exceeded the decline in print media content sales for the first time at the Group level.

The Alma Markets segment maintained an excellent level of profitability in July–September: the operating profit margin was 42.7 per cent thanks to effective cost control. Revenue from the recruitment business continued to increase, although the rate of growth slowed down as the uncertain economic outlook had an impact on the recruitment market. The housing and automotive marketplace and systems business continued the strong performance seen during the first half of the year. The demand for added value and competitive tender services related to housing and cars increased in particular in July–September.

In Alma Talent, digital content revenue increased in the segment’s Finnish financial and professional media by 25.3 per cent in July–September. The latest renewal measures related to the digital subscription model were implemented in Uusi Suomi and Markkinointi&Mainonta during the review period. All of the segment’s media are now available for digital subscription and behind a paywall. The segment’s revenue in July–September was weighed down by a decline in recruitment advertising, automotive advertising, advertising related to IPOs and training services, all of which are sensitive to economic trends. In spite of the decline in revenue, the segment’s profitability improved thanks to tight cost control. 

For Alma Consumer, the past quarter was challenging in terms of print media advertising sales, which saw the segment’s revenue and profitability decline year-on-year. Service revenue decreased due to a decline in the volume of external printing services. The sales of digital subscriptions, however, continued to see strong growth. Good progress has been made in content renewal and leveraging data to create a better digital reading and user experience. 

Our adjusted operating profit has improved and our financial position has strengthened further. We have improved the profitability of our business through digital growth and product development projects as well as effective cost control. Alma Media is in an excellent position to take advantage of new opportunities for value creation and growth even during a period of slower growth in the operating environment.

In the past quarter, the growth in digital content sales exceeded the decline in print media content sales for the first time at the Group level.