Sanoma Corporation, Stock Exchange Release, 25 July 2019 at 8:30 EET

Sanoma’s Half-year Report 1 January–30 June 2019:
Stable operational EBIT both for Q2 and H1 2019

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 2019

  • Net sales declined slightly to EUR 353 million (2018: 363). Comparable net sales development was -2% (2018: ‑1%).
  • Operational EBIT excl. PPA was stable, amounting to EUR 81 million (2018: 82).
  • EBIT was EUR 73 million (2018: 71). The change in EBIT was a result of lower IACs, which totalled EUR ‑5 million (2018: -9). PPA amortisations were EUR 3 million (2018: 2).
  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.33 (2018: 0.33).
  • EPS was EUR 0.31 (2018: 0.28).
  • Net debt / Adj. EBITDA was 2.2 (2018: 2.1), including an impact of 0.5 due to the implementation of the IFRS 16 standard.
  • On 17 April, Sanoma announced that the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets will take, as part of its standard procedure, a further assessment in order to reach a final decision with regard to the acquisition of Iddink. Sanoma expects the acquisition to be completed by the end of Q3 2019. 
  • On 28 June, Sanoma announced it had increased its ownership in the Finnish online classifieds company Oikotie Ltd. from 90% to 100%.

H1 2019

  • Net sales declined slightly to EUR 602 million (2018: 625). Comparable net sales development was -3% (2018: ‑3%).
  • Operational EBIT excl. PPA was stable, amounting to EUR 91 million (2018: 92). The corresponding margin was 15.1% (2018: 14.8%).
  • EBIT was EUR 85 million (2018: 79). The change in EBIT was a result of lower IACs, which totalled EUR ‑1 million (2018: -9), and included a capital gain related to the divestment of Mood for Magazines. PPA amortisations were EUR 6 million (2018: 4).
  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.34 (2018: 0.35).
  • EPS was EUR 0.35 (2018: 0.30).
  • Free cash flow was EUR -41 million (2018: -43), including a positive EUR 12 million impact due to the implementation of the IFRS 16 standard, which was to a large extent offset by the settlement of a rental contract related to Discontinued operations in Belgium.
  • On 4 February, Sanoma signed a EUR 550 million syndicated credit facility.
  • On 14 February, Sanoma announced the divestment of Mood for Magazines, publisher of LINDA. magazine, in the Netherlands. The divestment was completed at the end of February.

Outlook for 2019 (unchanged)

In 2019, Sanoma expects that the Group’s comparable net sales will be in line with 2018 and operational EBIT margin excluding PPA will be around 15% (2018: 15.7%).

The outlook is based on an assumption of the consumer confidence and advertising market development in Finland and in the Netherlands to be in line with 2018. The outlook does not include any assumptions of the intended acquisition of Iddink (announced on 11 December 2018), which is expected to be closed by the end of Q3 2019.

Key indicators

EUR millionQ2 2019Q2 2018ChangeH1 2019H1 2018 Change FY 2018
Net sales353.4362.9-3%601.6624.5-4%1,315.4
Operational EBIT excl. PPA80.882.2-2%90.992.4-2%206.2
  Margin22.9%22.6% 15.1%14.8% 15.7%
Result for the period ¹)50.068.0-26%57.462.9-9%125.6
Free cash flow ¹)0.11.6 -41.2-42.84%108.9
  Impact of IFRS 16 standard5.7  11.9   
Equity ratio ¹)   37.2%36.6% 44.7%
Net debt ¹)    578.0472.822%337.8
  Impact of IFRS 16 standard   178.8   
Net debt / Adj. EBITDA ¹)   2.22.14%1.4
  Impact of IFRS 16 standard   0.5   
Average number of employees (FTE)   4,3654,420-1%4,463
Operational EPS, EUR, continuing operations 



Operational EPS, EUR ¹)0.330.34-1%0.340.36-6%0.84
EPS, EUR, continuing operations0.310.2810%0.350.3017%0.68
EPS, EUR ¹)0.310.41-26%0.350.38-7%0.76
Free cash flow per share, EUR ¹)0.000.01-92%-0.25-0.263%0.67
  Impact of IFRS 16 standard0.03  0.07   

¹) In 2018 including continuing and discontinued operations. Discontinued operations include the Belgian women’s magazine portfolio, which was divested on 29 June 2018. More information on the Discontinued operations’ financial performance is available in the Full-Year Result 2018, on p. 36.

Result for the period for continuing operations was EUR 46 million for Q2 2018 and EUR 50 million for H1 2018.

President and CEO Susan Duinhoven:

“We are satisfied with the continued good performance of Sanoma as a Group as well as all SBUs during the first half of 2019.

In Learning, H1 net sales were on the previous year’s level. There are no major curriculum renewals ongoing in our operating markets this year, and thus the markets are expected to remain more or less flat compared to 2018. We are currently well-positioned for the third-quarter high season, which has in the past years increased its importance due to optimisation in the supply chain and growing share of digital learning materials. We are also looking forward to closing the acquisition of Iddink by the end of Q3 2019. Our business development program “High Five” proceeded according to our plan, and we expect its benefits to focus even more to the second half of the year.

In Media Finland, net sales and earnings grew in the second quarter mainly as a result of earlier acquisitions, notably Rockfest, Finland’s largest rock and metal music festival, and the Finnish News Agency STT acquired a year ago. In addition, advertising sales developed positively partially due to parliamentary elections held in April and EU elections held in May. We are happy that both the number of subscriptions and subscription sales of Ruutu+ and Helsingin Sanomat continued to grow. Earnings development was not at the same level with the topline growth. This was mainly due to the fact that, as part of the deal structure, Rockfest did not contribute positively to our earnings yet this year, and STT had a break-even result.

Despite our good performance in the first half of the year, the underlying operating environment in the media business, especially in Finland, was relatively demanding, and we don’t expect it to change remarkably during the rest of the year.

In Media Netherlands, the impact of divestments we have made during the past nine months – LINDA. magazine, Head Office content marketing operations in Belgium, and Home Deco e-commerce operations – was clearly visible in our reported net sales and operational EBIT. At the same time, development of the underlying business was stable and met our expectations. Our online news site had another strong quarter, both in usage and sales. During the first half of the year, revenues of grew by 16%. Circulation sales continued to be impacted by the increase in the VAT of magazines, which came into force on 1 January. Net sales of the data-driven marketing and cashback service Scoupy were below the previous year’s level due to changes we have made in its product portfolio. We proceeded successfully with active cost containment, which mitigated the impact of lower net sales on profitability.

We keep our Outlook for 2019 unchanged. We remain focused on capturing good opportunities to grow our business, including synergetic bolt-on acquisitions, and aim for an increasing dividend.”

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 EET at Sanomatalo, Töölönlahdenkatu 2, Helsinki. To join the event at Sanomatalo, please register by email to

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

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

With operations in Finland, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium and Sweden, our net sales totalled EUR 1.3 billion and we employed more than 4,400 professionals in 2018. Sanoma shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. More information is available at