Kai Telanne, President and CEO:
21 July 2021
The performance of Alma Media’s businesses was excellent as the economy continued to recover. Organic growth in the second quarter was 24%. Acquisitions also increased Alma Media’s revenue and adjusted operating profit in April–June. Our relative profitability was at a record high of 23%.
As rates of COVID-19 infections have decreased and the restrictions imposed by the authorities have been lifted, the recovery of the Alma Career segment’s business has been very rapid in all of our operating countries and the segment’s revenue turned to growth in the spring. The customer invoicing was at all-time high level in Q2. The realisation of pent-up demand is also thought to be a factor driving the increased activity in the recruitment market. In addition to traditional recruitment advertising, revenue growth in April–June was also strong in the digital training service Seduo and other added-value services related to recruitment. The segment’s expenses were increased by investments in marketing and employees.
In Alma Talent, a particularly positive aspect of the segment’s performance in the second quarter was the quick recovery of advertising (+55%) to the level seen in the comparison period in 2019. Digital content revenue also continued its strong growth (24%), which compensated for the decline in revenue from print products. Further factors underpinning the segment’s good performance included acquisitions and growth in marketplaces as well as digital property information, company information and law-related services. The segment’s expenses were on a par with the comparison period. The development of the Alma Talent Services information and data services for companies creates significant economies of
scale and is reflected in improved operational efficiency. Digital revenue now represents nearly 90% of Alma Talent Service’s revenue.
The Alma Consumer segment’s revenue grew and its result improved significantly in April–June, both organically and due to acquisitions. Demand was strong for housing-related and automotive marketplaces as well as comparison services. In the media business, particularly strong growth was seen in digital advertising as Iltalehti’s advertising revenue reached a new record. Investments in regional advertising sales also strengthened Alma Consumer’s market position in the SME customer segment.
The integration of Nettix into Alma Media and the Alma Consumer business segment is under way. The segment’s new organisational structure and management model have already been established. The key focus areas of the integration process are the development of harmonised operating models and company culture.
During the past six months, we have carried out a significant number of acquisitions – totalling MEUR 241 – which has naturally affected our financial position and increased our gearing ratio. Nevertheless, our solvency will improve quickly thanks to good profit performance and strong cash flow.
We have already turned our attention to the post-pandemic period and we are continuing to operate under a flexible multi-local work model. The period of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Alma Media employees are adaptable, flexible and prepared to work towards common goals. We will take advantage of the lessons we have learned as we enter the new normal.