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Sanoma Corporation, Half-Year Report January-June 2022: Net sales grew, operational EBIT lower due to shift to Q3 in Spain; FY 2022 Outlook unchanged

·10-min read
Sanoma Oyj
Sanoma Oyj

Sanoma Corporation, Stock Exchange Release, 27 July 2022 at 8:30 EET

Sanoma Corporation, Half-Year Report January-June 2022: Net sales grew, operational EBIT lower due to shift to Q3 in Spain; FY 2022 Outlook unchanged

This release is a summary of Sanoma’s Half-Year Report January-June 2022. The complete report is attached to this release and is also available at www.sanoma.com/en/investors.

Q2 2022  

  • The Group’s net sales grew to EUR 313 million (2021: 303). The Group’s comparable net sales growth was 3% (2021: 10%).

  • Operational EBIT excl. PPA was EUR 54 million (2021: 65) mainly due to late regional government decisions leading to delayed deliveries in Spain.

  • EBIT was EUR 39 million (2021: 52). Items affecting comparability (IACs) were EUR -5 million (2021: -3). Purchase price allocation adjustments and amortisations (PPAs) were EUR 10 million (2021: 11).

  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.21 (2021: 0.24).

  • EPS was EUR 0.19 (2021: 0.22).

  • On 7 April, the Annual General Meeting decided that a dividend of EUR 0.54 per share (2020: 0.52) shall be paid for 2021 in two equal instalments. The first instalment was paid on 20 April, and the second instalment will be paid in November (estimated timing).

  • On 7 June, Sanoma announced the acquisition of Pearson’s local K12 learning content business in Italy and its small exam preparation business in Germany. The transaction is expected to be finalised later in Q3 2022.

  • On 7 June, Sanoma announced its strategic growth ambition to increase the Group’s net sales to over EUR 2 billion by 2030, with at least 75% coming from the learning business.

H1 2022

  • The Group’s net sales amounted to EUR 524 million (2021: 513). The Group’s comparable net sales growth was 2% (2021: 7%).

  • Operational EBIT excl. PPA was EUR 43 million (2021: 55), mainly affected by lower Q2 earnings in Spain.

  • EBIT was EUR 17 million (2021: 28). IACs were EUR -8 million (2021: -7). PPAs were EUR 18 million (2021: 20).

  • Operational EPS was EUR 0.11 (2021: 0.11).

  • EPS was EUR 0.07 (2021: 0.08).

  • Free cash flow amounted to EUR -99 million (2021: -51) and was exceptionally low due to lower earnings, changes in net working capital, higher investments especially in digital development in Learning and higher bonus payments compared to low previous year level.

  • Net debt/Adj. EBITDA was 3.2 (2021: 3.1), seasonally somewhat above the long-term target level of ‘below 3.0’.

Outlook for 2022 (unchanged)
In 2022, Sanoma expects that the Group’s reported net sales will be EUR 1.25‒1.30 billion (2021: 1.25). The Group’s operational EBIT margin excl. PPA is expected to be between 15−16% (2021: 15.8%).

Regarding the operating environment Sanoma expects that:

  • The continuing coronavirus pandemic will not have a significant impact on its businesses.

  • The advertising market in Finland will be stable.

President and CEO Susan Duinhoven:
”The second quarter of 2022 marked the next step in the growth of Sanoma’s learning business, as in June we announced the acquisition of Pearson Italy, one of the leading providers of learning materials for secondary education in the large Italian market, and Pearson Germany, a small exam preparation business. The acquisition has a perfect fit with our strategy to grow the K12 learning business through M&A and marks our entry into Italy, one of the largest K12 learning services markets in Europe. Already in June, we received confirmation that the transaction did not need to be filed under the so-called ‘Golden Power’ rule in Italy. The closing will take place later in the third quarter, which means that we will be consolidating a small part of the high season and the full, typically loss-making, fourth quarter into our FY 2022 numbers. We are looking forward to welcoming the excellent teams in Italy and Germany to our company.

In June, we also announced our ambition that by 2030, we are aiming for the Group net sales to be above EUR 2 billion, with at least 75% coming from the learning business. At the same time, we continue to be fully committed in paying an increasing dividend of 40−60% of annual free cash flow.

During the first half of the year, Learning’s net sales were stable, though with significant variations between the markets. In our operating markets excluding Spain, the organic growth and financial performance were solid despite the current inflationary environment and increasing paper costs. In Spain, late regional governmental decisions related to the introduction of the new curriculum LOMLOE led to substantially delayed deliveries. Therefore, a significant shift in sales in Spain from the second to the third quarter, combined with expected higher marketing and content production costs, led to a sharp decline in operational earnings. Currently, we estimate that in Spain, the phased implementation of the new curriculum will create solid growth in FY 2022, however, most of the growth related to the new curriculum is expected only in 2023, with some postponement even to 2024. Across the learning business, we are well prepared for the third quarter high season.

In Media Finland, net sales growth was driven by the events business, while the overall profitability reduced. Subscription and advertising sales remained stable both in the second quarter as well as for the first six months. Despite stable subscription sales in the second quarter, we see a downward trend particularly in new subscription sales, after the corona-driven period of strong growth, which is expected to impact the second half of the year. After two years of the coronavirus pandemic having a heavy impact, the events season started with high hopes among all stakeholders – artists, audiences and us – but has turned out to be more challenging. In June, the number of visitors was lower than expected, and by now we can already say that this trend continued in July, and the financial performance of the events business will not reach the 2019 pre-corona levels. The increasing paper costs that – against our expectations – were not mitigated by earnings of the events business led to lower second quarter earnings in Media Finland.

Our free cash flow was lower as a result of lower profitability, higher net working capital, the earlier indicated additional investments especially in digital development in learning and higher bonus payments compared to the exceptionally low previous year level. Our FY 2022 expectations are unchanged, i.e. the underlying free cash flow will be slightly lower than last year due to higher investments as indicated in February. In addition there will be a positive free cash flow impact from the Pearson acquisition.

I would like to thank our teams for their commitment and solid performance in continuing to grow our business sustainably and to successfully execute our development projects in the more challenging economic environment. Their ability and commitment to mitigate the impacts of increasing operating costs enables us to keep our full year outlook unchanged.’’

Key indicators for continuing operations

EUR million

Q2 2022

Q2 2021

Change

H1 2022

H1 2021

Change

 FY 2021

Net sales

313.2

302.8

3%

523.9

512.9

2%

1,251.6

Operational EBITDA 1)

92.9

103.7

-10%

121.7

134.4

-9%

361.0

Margin 1)

29.7%

34.3%

 

23.2%

26.2%

 

28.8%

Operational EBIT excl. PPA 2)

53.6

65.0

-18%

43.2

55.0

-22%

197.2

Margin 2)

17.1%

21.5%

 

8.2%

10.7%

 

15.8%

EBIT

38.5

51.5

-25%

16.5

27.7

-40%

142.4

Result for the period

30.8

37.0

-17%

12.6

12.6

0%

101.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operational EPS, EUR 1)

0.21

0.24

-9%

0.11

0.11

0%

0.69

EPS, EUR

0.19

0.22

-16%

0.07

0.08

-3%

0.62

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Average number of employees (FTE)

 

 

 

4,906

4,887

0%

4,885

Number of employees at the end of
the period (FTE)

 

 

 

5,117

5,059

1%

4,822

Key indicators incl. continuing and discontinued operations 3)

EUR million

Q2 2022

Q2 2021

Change

H1 2022

H1 2021

Change

FY 2021

Result for the period

30.8

36.9

-17%

12.6

12.4

1%

101.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free cash flow

-60.0

-3.0

-1,890%

-99.3

-51.4

-93%

139.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity ratio 4)

 

 

 

33.7%

32.9%

 

40.6%

Net debt

 

 

 

770.9

769.8

0%

616.4

Net debt / Adj. EBITDA

 

 

 

3.2

3.1

3%

2.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operational EPS, EUR 1)

0.21

0.24

-10%

0.11

0.12

-2%

0.69

EPS, EUR

0.19

0.22

-16%

0.07

0.08

-1%

0.61

Free cash flow per share, EUR

-0.37

-0.02

-1,904%

-0.61

-0.32

-93%

0.86

1) Excluding IACs
2) Excluding IACs and purchase price allocation adjustments and amortisations (PPAs)
3) In 2021, discontinued operations included certain Learning operations that were under strategic review. More information on discontinued operations’ financial performance is available on p. 32 of the Half-Year Report.
4) Advances received included in the formula of equity ratio were EUR 157.7 million in H1 2022 (2021: 171.8).

Analyst and investor conference
An analyst and investor conference will be held in English by the President and CEO Susan Duinhoven and CFO Alex Green today at 11:00 EET.

The conference can be followed as a live webcast at https://sanoma.videosync.fi/2022-q2-results.

Management presentation is followed by a Q&A session. Questions can be placed through the webcast chat function or by phone. To ask questions by phone, please join in 5–10 minutes prior to the starting time by dialling one of the following numbers:

Finland: +358 9 8171 0310
Sweden: +46 8 5664 2651
United Kingdom: +44 33 3300 0804
United States: +1 631 913 1422

Confirmation code for the call is 89780250#.

An on-demand replay of the webcast will be available shortly after the conference at www.sanoma.com/en/investors.

Interview opportunities for media by Teams or by phone are available after the conference. Media representatives are asked to book interviews via Communications Director Marcus Wiklund, marcus.wiklund@sanoma.com.

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

About Sanoma

Sanoma is an innovative and agile learning and media company impacting the lives of millions every day. Our Sustainability Strategy is designed to maximise our positive ‘brainprint’ on society and to minimise our environmental footprint. We are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and signatory to the UN Global Compact.

Our learning products and services enable teachers to develop the talents of every child to reach their full potential. We offer printed and digital learning content as well as digital learning and teaching platforms for primary, secondary and vocational education, and want to grow our business.

Our Finnish media provide independent journalism and engaging entertainment also for generations to come. Our unique cross-media position offers the widest reach and tailored marketing solutions for our business partners.

Today, we operate in eleven European countries and employ more than 5,000 professionals. In 2021, our net sales amounted to approx. 1.25bn€ and our operational EBIT margin excl. PPA was 15.8%. Sanoma shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. More information is available at sanoma.com.

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