Sanoma Corporation, Stock Exchange Release, 24 July 2018 at 08:30 CET+1

Sanoma’s Half-Year Report 1 January–30 June 2018: Good performance in the second quarter supported by phasing of business in Learning

Solid first half of the year

This release is a summary of Sanoma’s Half-Year Report 1 January–30 June 2018. The complete report is attached to this release and is also available at

Q2 2018

  • Net sales amounted to EUR 363 million (2017: 418; adjusted 359) and were supported by Learning, where the traditional spring orders shifting from the beginning of the year were received during the quarter. Net sales development adjusted for all structural changes was -1% (2017: -2%).
  • Operational EBIT improved to EUR 80 million (2017: 76; adjusted 73) mainly due to net sales growth in Learning. Corresponding margin was 22.0% (2017: 18.1%; adjusted 20.3%).
  • EBIT was EUR 71 million (2017: 72; adjusted 69).
  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.33 (2017: 0.30; adjusted 0.29).
  • EPS was EUR 0.28 (2017: 0.28; adjusted 0.27).
  • Cash flow from operations was EUR 9 million (2017: 5; adjusted 3) and capital expenditure was EUR 7 million (2017: 9; adjusted 8).
  • Divestment of Belgian women’s magazine portfolio, reported as discontinued operations, was completed on 29 June.

H1 2018

  • Net sales were EUR 624 million (2017: 748; adjusted 641). Net sales development adjusted for all structural changes was -3% (2017: -2%)
  • Operational EBIT decreased to EUR 88 million (2017: 91; adjusted 93) mainly due to one-off corrections included in Media Finland’s earnings in H1 2017. Corresponding margin was 14.1% (2017: 12.1%; adjusted 14.5%).
  • EBIT was EUR 79 million (2017: -340; adjusted 86).
  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.35 (2017: 0.34; adjusted 0.35).
  • EPS was EUR 0.30 (2017: -1.46; adjusted 0.32).
  • Cash flow from operations was EUR -29 million (2017: -37; adjusted -38) and capital expenditure was EUR 14 million (2017: 17; adjusted 15).
  • On 7 March Sanoma announced the acquisition of the festival and event business of N.C.D. Production in Finland. Net sales of the acquired business in 2017 were approx. EUR 20 million. The transaction was closed on 18 April.

Outlook (unchanged)

In 2018, Sanoma expects that the Group’s consolidated net sales adjusted for structural changes will be slightly below 2017, and operational EBIT margin will be around 14%.

The outlook is based on an assumption of the consumer confidence and advertising markets in the Netherlands and Finland being in line with that of 2017.

Key indicators *

EUR millionQ2 2018

Q2 2017

H1 2018
H1 2017

FY 2017
Net sales362.9359.31%624.5641.5-3%1,328.0
Operational EBITDA112.5105.86%156.9163.7-4%328.5
  margin31.0%29.4% 25.1%25.5% 24.7 %
Operational EBIT79.872.810%88.093.2-6%179.0
  margin22.0%20.3% 14.1%14.5% 13.5 %
Result for the period **68.046.845%62.955.214%126.8
Cash flow from operations **8.62.6228%-28.6-37.724%140.9
Capital expenditure ** ’ ***7.08.3-16%14.215.0-5%34.7
Cash flow from operations less capital expenditure **1.6-5.7128%-42.8-52.719%106.2
Equity ratio **   36.6%28.8% 38.2%
Net debt **   472.8846.7 391.8
Net debt / Adj. EBITDA **   2.13.6 1.7
Average number of employees (FTE)   4,4204,632-5% 4,562
Operational EPS, EUR, continuing operations0.330.2916%0.350.352%0.71
Operational EPS, EUR **0.340.3011%0.360.360% 0.74
EPS, EUR, continuing operations0.280.273%0.300.32-6%0.76
EPS, EUR **0.410.2944%0.380.3313%0.77
Cash flow from operations per share, EUR **0.050.02227%-0.18-0.2325%0.87
Cash flow from operations less capital expenditure per share, EUR **0.01-0.04128%-0.26-0.3219%0.65

* 2017 figures have been restated due to a change in IFRS 15 and were originally published on 27 March 2018. More information on the restatement is available in Accounting policies on p. 24.
** Including continuing and discontinued operations. Equity ratio, net debt and net debt / Adj. EBITDA not adjusted for the SBS divestment.
*** Earlier capital expenditure was presented on an accrual basis.

Key indicators with non-adjusted figures for the comparison periods in 2017, which include the divested Dutch TV operations of SBS, are available on p. 18.

President and CEO Susan Duinhoven:

”The second quarter was good for Sanoma with a satisfactory momentum in all our businesses. Especially the Learning business performed well and its net sales and earnings grew. In the Netherlands, we received the traditional spring orders that had been shifted from the first quarter, while in Belgium and Finland second quarter performance was boosted by orders coming in already in June instead of July-August. Overall, we are pleased with the performance of the Learning business. For the full year comparison, one should keep in mind the exceptionally strong market growth with two simultaneous curriculum reforms in Poland in H2 2017, which is not going to be repeated this year.

In the second quarter, our operational EBIT improved significantly thanks to net sales growth in Learning. Declining underlying net sales have had an adverse impact on Media Finland’s profitability throughout the first half of the year. Compared to earlier years, this year we expect our performance in Finland to be weighted more towards the second half of the year due to e.g. ending of the Liiga contract (no write-off in Q3), the acquisition of the festival and events business N.C.D. Production and certain marketing and development investments made in Q4 2017. Even with lower net sales, Media Netherlands maintained its profitability thanks to the actions we have taken to reduce the complexity and adjust the scale of our operations after last year’s divestments.

We made good progress on our long-term strategy of selective growth through M&A during the quarter. The acquisition of N.C.D. Production and increase of ownership in the Finnish News Agency (STT) were completed in Finland. In the Netherlands, we increased our ownership in the data-driven marketing and cashback service Scoupy to 95%. Lastly, the sale of the Belgian women’s magazine portfolio was completed according to plan at the end of the second quarter. All transaction costs are now included in earnings, while the restructuring costs will be paid, and the majority of the cash consideration received, during the coming quarters.

In Learning, we have started an internal business transformation programme called ”High Five” to harmonise processes and capture synergies in all parts of the value chain across our operating countries and to create lean and efficient operations for future growth. We will be investing modestly in systems and management support during the coming months with a relatively short pay-back.

During the second half of 2018, we continue to focus on our long-term strategy. We will focus on our customers as well as on improving our profitability and cash flow for increasing dividends. In addition, we aim as well as for selective growth through M&A with equity ratio and leverage within long-term targets. Our FY 2018 outlook remains unchanged and we are comfortable with the development in the first half of the year.”

Analyst and investor conference

An analyst and investor conference will be held in English by the President and CEO Susan Duinhoven and CFO and COO Markus Holm today at 11:00 Finnish time (9:00 UK time) at Sanomatalo, Töölönlahdenkatu 2, Helsinki. To join the event, please register via email to

Live audio webcast of the conference can be followed via To ask questions by phone during the live audio webcast, please register by email Dial-in details will be sent for registered participants. An on-demand replay of the audio webcast will be available shortly after the end of the conference at

Interview opportunities for media are available after the conference. Media representatives are asked to book interviews via Communications Director Marcus Wiklund,

Additional information
Kaisa Uurasmaa, Head of Investor Relations and CSR, tel. +358 40 560 5601


Sanoma is a front running media and learning company impacting the lives of millions every day. We provide consumers with engaging content, offer unique marketing solutions to business partners and enable teachers to excel at developing the talents of every child.

With operations in Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Sweden, our net sales totalled EUR 1.4 billion and we employed more than 4,400 professionals in 2017. Sanoma shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. More information is available at