The general development of the national economy, business prospects and consumer confidence in the economy all have an impact on the willingness of businesses to invest in marketing communications. The aforementioned factors also influence consumer decisions about subscribing to paid media content.
The Advertising Barometer published by the Association of Finnish Advertisers in January 2013 suggests that planned spending on print media is on a clear decline, while spending on the various forms of online media, along with television and in-store marketing, is increasing. Advertisers also still intend to focus on social media. The Advertising Barometer’s net change indicator for 2013 is -16 (+2): of the advertisers who participated in the Advertising Barometer survey, 22% intend to increase advertising spending in 2013, 37% plan to cut back and 41% indicate that their advertising spending will remain unchanged from the previous year. Around 80% of the respondents indicate that they expect overall advertising spending in the market to decrease in Finland due to the economic uncertainty, while around 20% feel it will remain unchanged. The Advertising Barometer survey was carried out in December 2012.
Outlook for 2013
In its Financial Statement Release, published on February 15, 2013, Alma Media stated as follows:
The general uncertainty prevailing in the Group’s principal markets, as well as the shift in media consumption from print media to electronic channels, make it difficult to forecast the development of the advertising and circulation revenues. The share of digital services in the media market will continue.
Economic growth is estimated to remain weak in Europe in the early part of 2013. The increase in the sales of digital services is not enough to cover the drop in the sales of print media. Alma Media estimates that the company’s revenue and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, will decrease in the first half of 2013 from the level of the corresponding period in 2012. The revenue for the first half of 2012 was MEUR 162.2 and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, was MEUR 16.1.
Management priorities in 2013
In 2013, Alma Media will continue to develop its publishing operations with a focus on multimedia while developing and growing digital business and consumer services. Digital business growth is supported by Group-wide information system development.
The focus of Alma Regional Media will be on continuing to establish the organisation’s new operating model and emphasis on cooperation. Quality and efficiency will be improved across all functions. The move towards paid digital content and consumer services will extend to regional and local papers. Iltalehti will continue on its path of strong digital service development, with plans in place to launch a number of new products during the year.
In 2013, Kauppalehti Group will focus particularly on increasing advertising sales. The new subscription model will also be developed further. The aim is to find the most suitable subscription model for every customer, either in digital or print format, or a combination of the two. Kauppalehti Information Services will expand its range of services, and the development of Business Premises operations as part of Kauppalehti Group will continue.
The Marketplaces unit will put considerable emphasis on integrating the acquisitions made in 2012. The goal is to ensure that the positive development of the acquired companies will continue under Alma Media Group.
Etuovi.com is planning and implementing significant development projects related to technical aspects and service offering. These projects and the successful launch of new products play an important role in the future of the operations of Etuovi.com. One example of these moves is the January 2013 launch of an online interior decoration service.
Offering more services to consumers is one of the focal areas for 2013, as is increasing the proportion of consumers among the advertising customer base. Alma Diverso will focus on developing network products for online advertising. Another focal area of digital consumer services is the promotion of mobility across different services.
The focus of Alma Manu will be on commissioning the new printing press, optimising printing operations and planning and implementing new product opportunities in distribution operations.
Sustainable media in 2013
The Sustainable Media corporate responsibility programme creates the framework for Alma Media's responsibility. In 2013, the focus areas of the programme are:
- Incorporating responsibility into the day-to-day work of Alma Media employees:
- Facilitating volunteer work by Alma Media employees in cooperation with an NGO partner
- Organising corporate responsibility campaigns related to well-being at work and the environment
- Responsibility as an integral part of product and service development
- Building a website related to the theme of sustainable business
- Incorporating the environmental perspective into the mainstream of advertising and marketing in cooperation with customers
- Integrating responsibility as part of ICT purchasing
- Developing open corporate communications
- Communicating the Sustainable Media project
- Succeeding in indices and surveys related to responsible investments, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project initiative
- Responsible influence
- Participation in promoting economic and social well-being in society: incl. the Responsible Summer Job 2013 campaign, theme seminars related to social issues, particularly sustainable business
- Advancement of responsibility in the media industry: incl. Nordic Media CR Forum and the Shape research group
- Media partnership with the “Ratkaisun paikka 2013” (“Site for Solutions”) corporate responsibility event
On December 31, 2012, the Group’s parent company had distributable funds totalling EUR 8,014,054 (51,941,032). No essential changes in the company’s financial standing have taken place after the end of the financial year. The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of EUR 0.10 (0.40) per share be paid for the 2012 financial year. Based on the number of shares on the closing date, December 31, 2012, the total dividend distribution would amount to EUR 7,548,685 (30,194,741).