Financial development

For Alma Media, 2015 was a good year, taking the operating environment into consideration. The development of foreign operations was excellent due to strong economic growth in Eastern Central Europe, but the Finnish market did not see the hoped-for recovery that would have supported a significant improvement in Alma Media’s result.

Group revenue

Revenue declined by 1.3% to MEUR 291.5 (295.4) in 2015. Talentum Corporation, acquired in November, represented an increase in revenue of MEUR 5.8, while JM Tieto, acquired in January, represented an increase in revenue of MEUR 3.4. The effect of the Alma360 business, divested in September, on revenue was MEUR -3,6, while the effect of the Regional Media segment’s newspapers divested in 2015 on the Group’s revenue was MEUR -9.8.

Alma Media has made a concerted effort to move its business operations and employees from the world of print media towards digital multimedia services. The Group’s revenue from digital products and services exceeded the MEUR 100 milestone with year-on-year growth of 8.7 per cent. Digital products and services accounted for 35.3 (32.0) per cent of Group revenue.

Content revenue decreased by 4.9% to MEUR 104.7 (110.1). Content revenue declined due to the decline of print subscriptions and single-copy sales. Talentum’s effect on the increase in content revenue was MEUR 4.1.

Revenue from advertising sales increased by 0.3% to MEUR 146.9 (146.4). Advertising sales for print media decreased by 10.2% from the comparison period, to MEUR 66.2 (73.7). Online advertising sales increased by 11.0% to MEUR 80.7 (72.7). 

Service revenue totalled MEUR 39.9 (38.8). Service revenue includes items such as Kauppalehti Business Information Services, the operations of the custom publishing house Alma 360 divested in October, as well as the operations of E-kontakti and the printing and distribution services sold to customers outside the Group by Alma Manu. The increased revenues of Kauppalehti Business Information Services and Alma Manu were major contributors to the increase in service revenue.

Operating profit and profit for the financial year

Operating profit excluding non-recurring items was MEUR 23.4 (21.4), or 8.0% (7.2%) of revenue. Operating profit was MEUR 17.7 (20.7), or 6.1% (7.0%) of revenue. The operating profit includes net non-recurring items in the amount of MEUR -5.7 (-0.7).

Balance sheet and financial position

At the end of December 2015, the consolidated balance sheet stood at MEUR 328.2 (256.1). The Group’s equity ratio at the end of December was 42.5% (42.6%) and equity per share was EUR 1.35 (1.17).

The consolidated cash flow from operations in January–December was MEUR 33.2 (26.5). The increase in cash flow from operations was particularly attributable to a lower level of working capital as well as lower interest and taxes paid. Cash flow before financing activities in 2015 declined to MEUR 11.1 (34.9), which was attributable to significant acquisitions carried out in 2015.

At the end of December, the Group’s interest-bearing debt amounted to MEUR 90.6 (83.0). The total interest-bearing debt at the end of December comprised MEUR 65.0 in finance leasing debt and MEUR 25.6 in loans from financial institutions. The Group’s interest-bearing net debt at the end of December stood at MEUR 76.2 (71.1).

Alma Media has two MEUR 20.0 committed financing limits at its disposal, of which MEUR 15 was in use on 31 December 2015. In addition, the company has a commercial paper programme of MEUR 100 in Finland. The commercial paper programme was entirely unused on 31 December 2015.

Alma Media did not have financial assets or liabilities created in conjunction with business combinations measured at fair value and recognised through profit or loss on 31 December 2015. Financial liabilities measured at fair value and recognised through profit or loss amounted to MEUR 0.3 (0.0).

The Alma Media share

In 2015, altogether 9,668,430 Alma Media shares were traded on the NASDAQ Helsinki Stock Exchange, representing 12.7% of the total number of shares. The closing price of the Alma Media share at the end of the last trading day of the reporting period, 30 December 2015, was EUR 3.00. The lowest quotation in 2015 was EUR 2.51 and the highest EUR 3.25.

Alma Media Corporation’s market capitalisation at the end of the review period was MEUR 247.1.

See real-time share price information here.

Dividend proposal to the Annual General Meeting

On 31 December 2015, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 120,642,934 (179,932,379). Alma Media’s Board of Directors proposes to the Annual General Meeting that a capital repayment of EUR 0.12 (2014: EUR 0.12) per share be paid from the reserve for invested non-restricted equity for the financial year 2015. Based on the number of shares on the closing date 31 December 2015, the capital repayment totals EUR 9,885,982 (2014: EUR 9,058,422).

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.

Long-term financial targets

Alma Media’s long term financial targets are:

Alma Media’s financial targets

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Target

Digital business growth

16.3%

36.8%

8.4%

11.9%

8.7%

> 15%

Return on Investment (ROI), %

25.7%

13.8%

10.0%

9.8%

6.9%

> 15%

Dividend payout ratio*

103%

45%

50%

63%

92%**

> 50%

* Includes capital repayment to shareholders. 
** Based on the Board of Directors’ proposal to the Annual General Meeting.

Financial targets reflect the priorities of Alma Media's strategy and business development. The long-term targets are reached by developing digital media and service business and improving the quality and cost efficiency of publishing activity in an optimal manner, both from the perspective of the company and investors.