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CEO’s Review

CEO’s review: Growth in revenue and operating profit in a turbulent business environment

(20 October 2022)

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.

Kai Telanne  

President and CEO  


“We will continue to build future growth through the continuous development of our operations and pursue new business initiatives.”