Alma Media’s Financial Statements Bulletin January–December 2018: All business segments improved operating profit in Q4. Revenue declined due to divestments.

Alma Media Corporation               Financial Statements Bulletin                     14 February 2019 at 8:00 a.m. (EET) 

ALMA MEDIA’S FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN JANUARY–DECEMBER 2018: 

All business segments improved operating profit in Q4. Revenue declined due to divestments.  

Financial performance October–December2018: 

  •  Revenue MEUR 91.9 (97.1), down 5.3%. 
  •  Adjusted operating profit MEUR 17.1 (11.3), or 18.6% (11.6%) of revenue, up 51.7%. 
  •  Operating profit MEUR 16.1 (5.8), or 17.6% (6.0%) of revenue, up 176.5%. 
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.12 (0.04). 
  •  Alma Markets: Operating profit was increased particularly by domestic business growth and lower marketing expenses.  
  •  Alma Talent: Divestments and restructuring measures led to improved productivity. 
  •  Alma Consumer: Successful digital sales and cost savings improved profit performance. 

Financial performance January–December2018: 

  •  Revenue MEUR 354.6 (367.3), down 3.5%. 
  •  Adjusted operating profit MEUR 57.3 (51.1), or 16.2% (13.9%) of revenue, up 12.2%. 
  •  Operating profit MEUR 61.0 (46.6), or 17.2% (12.7%) of revenue, up 31.0%. 
  •  Earnings per share EUR 0.51 (0.39). 
  •  The Board’s dividend proposal is EUR 0.35 (0.24) per share. 
KEY FIGURES 2018 2017 Change 2018 2017 Change 
MEUR Q4 Q4 % Q1–Q4 Q1–Q4 % 
Revenue 91.9 97.1 -5.3 354.6 367.3 -3.5 
Content revenue 29.5 32.4 -9.1 114.8 125.8 -8.8 
Content revenue, print 25.1 28.2 -11.0 97.9 109.3 -10.5 
Content revenue, digital 4.4 4.2 3.6 16.9 16.5 2.7 
Advertising revenue 48.6 50.2 -3.2 183.9 185.8 -1.0 
Advertising revenue, print 13.1 16.5 -20.6 50.6 62.8 -19.4 
Advertising revenue, digital 34.7 32.9 5.5 131.0 120.5 8.6 
Service revenue 13.9 14.5 -4.3 55.9 55.7 0.4 
Adjusted total expenses 75.0 90.1 -16.7 297.9 320.8 -7.1 
Adjusted EBITDA 20.8 15.7 32.4 72.9 67.4 8.2 
EBITDA  19.8 14.3 39.0 76.6 66.9 14.5 
Adjusted operating profit 17.1 11.3 51.7 57.3 51.1 12.2 
% of revenue 18.6 11.6  16.2 13.9  
Operating profit (loss) 16.1 5.8 176.5 61.0 46.6 31.0 
% of revenue 17.6 6.0  17.2 12.7  
Net income for the period 11.5 4.4 160.9 47.9 36.7 30.6 
Earnings per share, EUR (undiluted) 0.12 0.04 190.4 0.51 0.39 29.5 
       
Digital business revenue 44.5 42.1 5.8 170.3 156.6 8.7 
Digital business, % of revenue 48.4 43.3  48.0 42.6  

Dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting: 

On 31 December 2018, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 152,709,980 (134,532,841). Alma Media’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.35 per share (2017: EUR 0.24 per share) be paid for the financial year 2018. Based on the number of outstanding shares on the closing date 31 December 2018, the dividend payment totals EUR 28,751,404 (19,733,564). 

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 2019 

Finland and Alma Media’s significant operating countries in Eastern Central Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are expected to see economic growth, but the rate of growth is predicted to slow down in 2019. 

The structural transformation of the media will continue; online content sales will grow, while the demand for print media will decline. The profitability of print media will be reduced by higher distribution and delivery costs as well as volume-linked costs. Making use of data, analytics, machine learning and automation will become increasingly important, which calls for increasing technology investments. The areas of digital advertising that are expected to see the fastest growth are search engine, social media, mobile and video advertising as well as content marketing.  

Outlook for 2019 

In 2019, Alma Media expects its full-year revenue to remain at the previous year’s level and its adjusted operating profit to increase compared to 2018. The full-year revenue for 2018 was MEUR 354.6 and the adjusted operating profit was MEUR 57.3. 

Kai Telanne, President and CEO:   

Alma Media’s profitability continued to see strong development in 2018. Adjusted operating profit grew by 12.2% to a record-high MEUR 57.3, while the operating profit margin was 16.2%. Earnings per share increased by 29.5% to EUR 0.51. The Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.35 per share be paid. 

The result for the final quarter of 2018 was excellent, with all businesses improving their financial performance. 

Alma Markets led the way once more with an operating profit margin of 33.7%. The growth of the recruitment business in our operating countries in Eastern Central Europe slowed down compared to the earlier part of the year, but was still at a good level supported by the economic growth in the region. The domestic marketplaces business, excluding the recruitment business, achieved organic growth of 11% in October–December. Further sources of growth and profitability were the new businesses acquired at the beginning of 2018 as well as investments in value added services. Operating profit was also increased by lower marketing expenses. 

Alma Talent continued to focus on its core business and made progress in its transformation towards digital media and service business models. Digital content revenue developed favourably in several media. For Kauppalehti digital content revenue compensated for the decline in print media content revenue in 2018. The events and books business as well as digital advertising revenue also developed favourably in Finland.  

In Alma Consumer, measures to ensure the profitability of publishing operations continued. Print media advertising revenue decreased, although the rate of decline was slower than that of the market in general. At the same time, the growth of the segment’s digital advertising revenue outperformed the market, particularly in the areas of video advertising, programmatic buying and content marketing. The digital subscription revenue of Alma Consumer’s regional and local media has showed promising development. 

Buoyed by the good financial result and strong cash flow, Alma Media became a nearly net debt-free company at the end of the review period.Our strong balance sheet, in spite of the effects of IFRS 16, gives us operating space to build our future growth, make acquisitions to support the growth of our digital business and invest in technologies that enhance our competitiveness.  

Global economic growth is levelling off, but our target remains to exceed market growth, especially in the digital business. Digital business now constitutes nearly half of the Group’s revenue and three quarters of its adjusted operating profit. International operations account for 20 per cent of total revenue and 40 per cent of the Group’s adjusted operating profit.  

Our fourth consecutive year of improving annual profits is a proof of our successful digital transformation, changes to our business portfolio and cost optimisation. In line with our strategy, we have made our print business more efficient and invested particularly in expanding our international digital business. At the same time, we have divested unprofitable businesses.  

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 live webcast:

An analyst and media conference in English 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.

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

A live webcast, during which written questions may be presented, can be followed via https://almamedia.videosync.fi/2019-02-14-financial-statement/register. An on-demand version of the webcast will be available on the company's website later on the same day www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations.

The presentation material will be available on www.almamedia.fi/en/investors/reports-and-presentations/presentations at approximately 11.00 EET.

Alma Media’s financial calendar 2019

Alma Media Corporation will publish its financial reports in 2019 as follows:

- Interim report for January–March 2019 on Thursday, 25 April 2019, approximately at 8:00 EEST

- Interim report for January–June 2019 on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, approximately at 8:00 EEST

- Interim report for January–September 2019 on Wednesday, 23 October 2019, approximately at 8:00 EEST

Financial Statements, Report by the Board of Directors, Auditor's Report and Corporate Governance Statement will be published on Friday, 22 February 2019.

The Annual General Meeting is planned to be held on Friday, 15 March 2019. Materials related with the Annual General Meeting will be available on Alma Media's website.

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 digitalisation, 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 1,900 professionals (excluding delivery employees), of which approximately 30% work outside Finland. Alma Media’s revenue in 2018 was EUR 354.6 million. Alma Media’s share is listed on NASDAQ Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com.

  • Date: 14.2.2019, 08:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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