Alma Media, a dynamic media group
Alma Media is focused on publishing and digital consumer and business services. Alma Media publishes a total of 35 newspapers and their online services, the best-known being Aamulehti, Iltalehti and Kauppalehti. The best-known brands among the digital services are Etuovi.com, Monster.fi and Autotalli.com.
Revenue in 2010 totalled M€ 311.4 with an operating profit of M€ 43.4 million, or 13.9% of revenue. Under 5% of the revenue was generated outside Finland. Alma Media has four reporting segments: Newspapers, Kauppalehti Group, Marketplaces and Other operations.
The company’s share (ALN1V) is listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Exchange. Alma Media is included in the OMX GES Finland Sustainability Index, comprising the 40 leading companies in Finland in terms of sustainability.
The ownership structure and the largest shareholders of Alma Media are published on the company website www.almamedia.fi/major_shareholders. The information is updated monthly. The domicile of Alma Media Corporation is Helsinki, Finland.
Most significant changes to Group structure in 2010
In March, Alma Media acquired a 60% share in Marknadspriser i Sverige AB, the owner of the Marknadspriser.se website, and a 24% share in Kateetti Oy (now Alkali Oy).
Tyrvään Sanomat Oy was acquired by Suomen Paikallissanomat Oy, a part of Alma Media Group, in April. Alma Media’s stake in Kotikokki.net Oy increased from 40% to 65% in June.
Alma Media and Arena Partners Oy launched a cooperation in nationwide marketplace operations. The Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com, Autotalli.com and Mikko.fi business functions were moved under Alma Mediapartners Oy, a new subsidiary of the Group, created through the partial demerger of Alma Media Interactive Oy. Arena Partners Oy acquired 35% of the newly formed subsidiary. In conjunction with that acquisition, Alma Media purchased a 35% share of Arena Interactive Oy, a subsidiary of Arena Partners. The transactions were executed in September.
In the fourth quarter, Alma Media acquired Intermedia Partners Oy (now Alma Intermedia Oy) and MIG Group Oy as well as Suunnittelutoimisto TTNK Helsinki Oy (Titanik Helsinki). The deals expand Alma Media’s digital services offering.
In 2010, Alma Media closed down the business operations of City24, acting in the housing advertising, in Serbia, Ukraine and Croatia. The business operations of City24 continue in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
The printing and distribution functions of Alma Media were centralised to a new Group company, Alma Manu Oy.
Principal awards and recognitions
Aamulehti won four and Kauppalehti Optio two honourable mentions in the international 31st Best of News Design Competition. It is the world’s most prestigious competition for the visual design of newspapers, organised annually by the Society for News Design.
Tyrvään Sanomat received an award as the best semi-weekly newspaper in a competition of local newspapers organised by the Finnish Newspapers Association.
A year of business development
In 2010 Alma Media invested in developing both digital services and the printed newspaper. The recovery of the Finnish economy resulted in the advertising market growing by approximately five percent, which supported Alma Media’s financial development.
Alma Media’s revenue for the year was M€ 311.4 (307.8). The operating profit excluding non-recurring items was M€ 43.9 (42.6), or 14.1% of the revenue. The profit for the period increased to M€ 33.2 (28.3) and earnings per share to € 0.44 (0.38).
The Board of Directors of Alma Media proposes that a dividend of € 0.70 (0.40) per share be distributed for the 2010 financial year.
Business development on a broad front
Iltalehti.fi established itself as the leading Finnish online media outlet. Iltalehti’s online advertising exceeded the printed newspaper’s advertising sales in late 2010.
Kauppalehti built a profitable information service business to complement its traditional publishing operations by developing, among other things, the ePortti service.
Alma Media also launched cooperation with Arena Partners, which is owned by newspapers published in Central Finland. The cooperation provides national coverage for Alma Media’s digital consumer services Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com, Autotalli.com and Mikko.fi, giving them a strong foundation for further business development.
Alma Media’s regional newspapers appearing in Northern Finland (Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat) adopted a new operating model and publishing format. The feedback on the redesigned tabloid format newspapers has been positive. Aamulehti’s new content and operating model, implemented in autumn 2010, were also well received by the readers.
The Group’s investment in the development of the printed newspaper also includes the modernisation of the Tampere printing facility. The new printing press features the latest technology and will supply the first newspapers in early 2013.
Updated vision and strategy
Alma Media’s vision is to be the most exciting provider of information, service and experiences. The company sets the stage for the future of media.
Alma Media’s operations will be increasingly focused on digital consumer and business services that are outpacing traditional media in growth. The goal of the updated strategy is to increase revenue while maintaining good profitability and the ability to pay dividends – in other words, to increase shareholder value.
Read more on the revised strategy.