Alma Media’s Financial Statements Release 2017: Alma Markets’ strong growth continued in the fourth quarter

Alma Media Corporation          Financial Statements Release          14 February 2018 at 8:00 a.m. (EET) 

Alma Media’s Financial Statements Release 2017: 

ALMA MARKETS’ STRONG GROWTH CONTINUED IN THE FOURTH QUARTER 

Financial performance October–December 2017: 

  • Revenue MEUR 97.1 (93.6), up 3.7%. 
  • Adjusted operating profit MEUR 11.3 (10.6), or 11.6% (11.3%) of revenue, up 6.3%. 
  • Operating profit was MEUR 5.8 (6.2), or 6.0% (6.7%) of revenue, down 6.4%. 
  • Earnings per share EUR 0.04 (0.06). 
  • Alma Markets: Profitable business growth continued. 
  • Alma Talent: Revenue was on a par with the previous year, profitability was weighed down by costs allocated to the fourth quarter of the year 
  • Alma News & Life: Digital advertising at an exceptionally good level 
  • Alma Regions: Profitability was weighed down by the decline of print media advertising sales 

Financial performance January–December 2017: 

  • Revenue MEUR 367.3 (353.2), up 4.0%. 
  • Adjusted operating profit MEUR 51.1 (35.2), or 13.9% (10.0%) of revenue, up 45.2%. 
  • Operating profit MEUR 46.6 (26.8), or 12.7% (7.6%) of revenue, up 74.0%. 
  • Earnings per share were EUR 0.39 (0.20). 
  • The Board’s dividend proposal is EUR 0.24 (0.16) per share 
KEY FIGURES  2017  2016  Change  2017  2016  Change 
MEUR  Q4  Q4  %  Q1–Q4  Q1–Q4  % 
Revenue  97.1  93.6  3.7  367.3  353.2  4.0 
Content revenue  32.4  33.3  -2.4  125.8  128.3  -1.9 
Content revenue, print  28.2  29.2  -3.4  109.3  113.5  -3.7 
Content, digital  4.2  4.1  4.7  16.5  14.8  11.4 
Advertising revenue*)  50.2  45.8  9.5  185.8  171.6  8.3 
Advertising revenue, print  16.5  17.9  -7.9  62.8  68.5  -8.5 
Sales of advertising, digital  32.9  27.7  18.9  120.5  101.3  19.0 
Service revenue*)  14.5  14.5  -0.4  55.7  53.3  4.4 
Adjusted total expenses  90.1  86.3  4.4  320.8  318.9  0.6 
Adjusted EBITDA  15.7  15.3  2.8  67.4  53.3  26.5 
EBITDA    14.3  13.9  2.6  66.9  47.9  39.6 
Adjusted operating profit  11.3  10.6  6.3  51.1  35.2  45.2 
% of revenue  11.6  11.3  13.9  10.0 
Operating profit/loss  5.8  6.2  -6.4  46.6  26.8  74.0 
% of revenue  6.0  6.7  12.7  7.6 
Profit for the period  4.4  4.9  -9.7  36.7  19.9  85.0 
Earnings per share, EUR (undiluted and basic)  0.04  0.06  -28.3  0.39  0.20  90.8 
     
Digital business revenue  42.1  36.4  15.6  156.6  133.5  17.3 
Digital business, % of revenue  43.3  38.9     42.6  37.8    

*) Comparison data has been adjusted between advertising revenue and service revenue 

Dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting: 

On 31 December 2017, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 134,532,841 (124,646,114). Alma Media’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.24 per share (2016: EUR 0.16 per share) be paid for the financial year 2017. Based on the number of outstanding shares on the closing date 31 December 2017, the dividend payment totals EUR 19,733,564 (13,181,309). 

No essential changes have taken place after the end of the financial year with respect to the company’s financial standing. The proposed distribution of profit does not, in the view of the Board of Directors, compromise the company’s liquidity. 

Operating environment in 2018 

The Finnish economy is expected to experience strong growth in 2018. Alma Media’s significant operating countries in Eastern Central Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are expected to see economic growth of 3–4%. The structural transformation of the media will continue in 2018; online content sales will grow, while the demand for print media will decline. 

Outlook for 2018 

In 2018, Alma Media expects its full-year revenue to remain at the previous year’s level and its adjusted operating profit to increase from the 2017 level. The full-year revenue for 2017 was MEUR 367.3, and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 51.1. 

Kai Telanne, President and CEO 

In 2017, Alma Media’s operative performance was good, and we achieved all three of our long-term financial targets. Full-year revenue grew by 4 per cent to MEUR 367 and adjusted operating profit increased by 45 per cent to MEUR 51. Earnings per share increased by 90 per cent to EUR 0.39. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.24 per share be paid. 

Organic revenue growth continued in the last quarter of 2017 as planned. Revenue grew by 4 per cent in October–December and amounted to MEUR 97.1. Adjusted operating profit grew by 6 per cent to MEUR 11.3 year-on-year. In order to secure our leading position as a provider of digital multimedia services in the future, we continued our investments in product development and marketing at the end of the year.  

In the Alma Markets segment, the basic business was supported by the continued strong economic development in Eastern Central Europe and the Finnish economy returning to growth. The business segment also implemented highly active sales efforts and expanded its product portfolio. Costs were increased by investments in sales and marketing as well as the development of online services, such as the renewed Etuovi online service.   

The Alma Talent segment’s revenue in October-December was on a par with the previous year, but the business unit’s profitability was weighed down by costs allocated to the fourth quarter. Alma Talent’ aims to increase digital content sales and seek synergies between the unit’s different business operations. The Talouselämä online service was renewed during the review period, and the positive content synergy between the book and training business increased the sales of training. 

In the Alma News & Life segment, digital advertising saw strong growth and was at a record level in October–December. Growth was especially strong in mobile and content marketing. The development can be attributable to major advertisers shifting from print media to national digital media. Digital business now constitutes more than half of the segment’s revenue. Content revenue declined in October–December due to a decrease in Iltalehti’s print circulation.  

In Alma Regions, measures to ensure the profitability of publishing operations continued in the last quarter of the year. The structural transformation of advertising was clearly demonstrated in the decline of regional newspaper advertising. Content revenue decreased slightly as a result of the sale of newspapers in Pohjois-Pohjanmaa, but the investment in the growth of digital subscriptions progressed according to plan.   

The Finnish economy experienced a strong growth spurt in 2017, but this was not reflected in the long-awaited revival of the advertising market. According to TNS Kantar, investments in media advertising declined in 2017 by 2.8 per cent to 0.9 billion euros. Increasing investments in advertising would strengthen Finland’s competitiveness in the long term. International platform operators account for around half of the Finnish digital advertising market. A positive aspect of this development is that, unlike in many other countries, the growth of these operators has not accelerated towards the end of the year in the Finnish advertising market.

An increasingly crucial factor in our growth is our rapidly growing and extremely profitable international business. The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia were among the fastest growing countries in 2017. Our operations outside of Finland accounted for 23 per cent of our revenue and 39 per cent of our operating profit.  

More information:
Kai Telanne, President and CEO, telephone +358 (0)10 665 3500
Juha Nuutinen, CFO, telephone +358 (0)10 665 3873
 

News conference and audio webcast:

A conference for Finnish media, investors and analysts will be held on the same day at 11.00–12.00 EET in the Alma House (address: Alvar Aallon katu 3 C, Helsinki). In addition to the presentations held by President & CEO Kai Telanne and CFO Juha Nuutinen, participants will have an opportunity to discuss with other members of the company's management. Please note that the conference will be held in Finnish. The presentation material in English will be available on www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations at 11.00 EET.

To participate in the conference, kindly register beforehand by e-mail, kutsut@almamedia.fi.

A conference call and audio webcast concerning the financial result 2017 will begin at 13.00 EET and will be held in English. You can participate in the conference by calling +44 (0)330 336 9104 (confirmation code: 472124) or follow it at http://www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations.

Alma Media’s financial calendar 2018 

Alma Media will publish financial reports in 2018 as follows:  

- Interim report for January–March 2018 on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 at approximately 8:00 EEST
- Interim report for January–June 2018 on Wednesday, 18 July 2018 at approximately 8:00 EEST
- Interim report for January–September 2018 on Thursday, 25 October 2018 at approximately 8:00 EEST.
 

Alma Media’s Annual Review 2017, including corporate responsibility reporting, is scheduled to be published in calendar week 11, 2018 at the latest. 

The Annual General Meeting is planned to be held on Wednesday, 14 March 2018. Financial Statements, Report by the Board of Directors, Auditor's Report and Corporate Governance Statement for the 2017 financial year will be published on Wednesday, 21 February 2018. 

ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION 

Board of Directors  

Distribution: NASDAQ Helsinki, main media, www.almamedia.com

Alma Media in brief

Alma Media is a media company focusing on the service business and journalistic content. The company’s best-known brands are Kauppalehti, Talouselämä, Affärsvärlden, Iltalehti, Aamulehti, Etuovi.com and Monster. Alma Media builds sustainable growth for its customers by utilising the opportunities of digitality, including information services, system and expert services and advertising solutions. Alma Media’s operations have expanded from Finland to the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Central Europe. Alma Media employs approximately 2,250 professionals (excluding delivery personnel), of whom approximately 30% work outside Finland. Alma Media’s revenue in 2017 was EUR 367.3 million. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com.

  • Date: 14.2.2018, 08:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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