”Our first half of the year was strong in all aspects. Net sales grew and earnings improved as a result of both acquisitions and organic growth both in Learning and Media Finland. In Learning, we had 5% organic growth and this was in particular strong in countries where a curriculum renewal or a transformation to subscription model is ongoing, i.e. the Netherlands and Poland. We are also very satisfied with the performance of Santillana, which has met our expectations and the integration is proceeding steadily according to our plans. The team in Spain is well-prepared not only for the third quarter high season of this year, but even more importantly for the upcoming education renewal in 2022–2023. With the acquisition of Santillana, the annual seasonality has become even stronger in Learning, as the business in Spain is even more focused on the third quarter than in our other operating countries. Across our learning business, we have continued to support remote learning and teaching with our digital tools and do not expect any major impact on the business due to the pandemic.
Media Finland continued its solid performance during the second quarter. Subscription sales continued to grow driven by the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (HS) and the VOD service Ruutu+. At HS, the number of subscriptions grew by 3% year-on-year. B2B advertising sales bounced back substantially compared to the second quarter of 2020 which was strongly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The most relevant comparison being against 2019, H1 2021 advertising sales were 6% lower than H1 2019. Visibility into the B2B demand continues to be very short-term only, though we expect the overall demand to be more weighted on the second half of the year, if the coronavirus pandemic continues to subside. The regional news media business has been part of Sanoma for more than a year now. The teams and operations are well integrated and we can see the synergy benefits in earnings. Despite its quite small size, our events business has been a hot topic this year. During this summer season 2021, we will be organising eleven events between midsummer and the end of July, most of them with significant restrictions related to the number of attendees."