Sanoma is comprised of Consumer Media and Learning, a consolidation that took effect on January 1, 2014. Net sales and profits are reported for three Strategic Business Units: Sanoma Media Netherlands, Sanoma Media Finland and Sanoma Learning.
The Learning segment, which is surveyed in this ranking, includes the Sanoma Learning strategic business unit. Sanoma Learning is a leading European provider of educational materials and solutions in print and digital format for primary, secondary and vocational education.
The Media segment includes magazine, TV, radio and online businesses in eleven European countries and comprises four strategic business units: Sanoma Media Netherlands, and Sanoma Media Finland. Sanoma Media Belgium and Sanoma Media Russia & CEE are included in the report. Sanoma became active in consumer media and learning operations in 2012.
Analysis & Key Developments
In fiscal 2014, Sanoma recorded net sales of 1.9 billion EUR, a drop of 8.7% due to divestments and lower print circulation and print advertising sales. Net sales decreased by 3.7% after adjusted for changes in the group structure.
The Learning segment’s net sales decreased by 4.1% to 292 million EUR, down from 305 million EUR in 2013, due to structural changes that increased net sales by 1%. Operating profit in the Learning segment rose from 21 million EUR in 2013 to 55 million EUR.
In March 2014, Sanoma Pro, the Finnish learning business, sold its B2B operations (digital and training services and business books) that generated net sales of 4 million EUR in 2013.
In March 2014, Sanoma Learning bought out all of the shares of the Belgian school and teacher management software company Pronoia BVBA. Pronoia provides online software programs for preschool, primary and secondary education.
Sanoma expects to experience “a material negative impact on the educational textbook market in the coming years” by a new legislation in Poland, according to the company’s annual report. The group expects the negative impact to be partly offset by new products and services as well as cost savings across the segment. Sanoma’s operations in Poland contributed 87 million EUR to overall divisional revenues in 2014.
Digital and service sales grew by 15% in fiscal 2014 when adjusted for acquisitions and divestments, and amounted to 51 million EUR.
In fiscal 2013, Sanoma’s net sales decreased by 6.6% and amounted to 2.22 billion EUR, down from 2.38 billion EUR in 2012. The decrease is mainly related to continued declines in advertising and single copy sales. When adjusted for changes in the Group structure, net sales decreased by 6.6%.
The Learning segment’s net sales decreased by 2.5% to 305 million EUR due to structural changes, which also affected net sales by 0.6%. Sanoma’s divestment of its Hungarian education business created a dip in profits of 35 million EUR.
Sanoma appointed John Martin as new CEO of Sanoma Learning. He will succeed CEO Jacques Eijkens, who served as chief strategy and digital officer at Sanoma since 2011, in the first quarter of 2014. Sanoma Learning is in the midst of transformation as Sanoma works to expand from publishing to provide solutions and services. Sanoma will accelerate growth by consolidation and plans to move into tutoring and emerging markets.
Sanoma Digital was established for consumer media, with the plan to speed up growth of digital services.
In October 2013, Sanoma sold its Learning operations in Hungary. Net sales were 13 million EUR. As a result of the transaction, Sanoma recognized in 2013 a capital loss of 35 million EUR. The divestment was made after a long period of poor conditions in the Hungarian education market.
In March 2014, Sanoma Learning acquired the Belgian school- and teacher management software company Pronoia, a provider of online software programmes under the brand Schoolonline for preschool, primary and secondary education.
According to Sanoma’s strategy to enter emerging market, a 9-member business delegation headed to China and Korea to meet with potential learning partners.
To accelerate the development of next-generation learning solutions for mathematics, Sanoma Learning signed a partnership agreement with Kikora, a provider of semantic math e-learning solutions. “The partnership with Kikora and the launch of the digital platform are important parts of our growth strategy, and aim to solidify our position as a leader in the market of next-generation digital learning solutions.” says Jacques Eijkens, former CEO of Sanoma Learning.