The learning business has, by its nature, an annual cycle with strong seasonality. Most net sales and earnings are accrued during the second and third quarters, while the first and fourth quarters are typically loss-making. The acquisitions of Pearson Italy and Germany as well as Santillana in Spain have further increased the importance of the third quarter, when the new school year starts, for the business. Shifts of single orders between quarters may have a material impact when comparing quarterly net sales and earnings on a year-on-year basis, and thus year-to-date figures typically provide a more comprehensive picture of Learning’s business performance and development.
In the media business, net sales and earnings are particularly affected by the development of advertising. Advertising sales are influenced, for example, by the number of newspaper and magazine issues published each quarter, which varies annually. TV advertising in Finland is usually strongest in the second and fourth quarters. The events business in Finland is typically focused on the second and third quarters.