”We had a good start to the year. Net sales grew driven by acquisitions and solid underlying development both in Learning and Media Finland. In Learning, the first quarter is always seasonally small in net sales, and loss-making. The larger our learning business becomes, the stronger this seasonality and losses in the first and fourth quarters will also become. With the acquisition of Santillana, the annual seasonality has become even stronger in Learning, as in Spain the business is more focused on the third quarter than in our other operating countries. We have now worked together with Santillana for the first four months. The integration has proceeded well and according to our plans. The mutual learning curve is high, despite the fact that the majority of the integration projects are conducted remotely. The team in Spain is already now preparing for the upcoming education renewal in 2022-2023. 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, although there may be some shift towards the third quarter in some of our largest markets.

Media Finland continued its strong performance also in the first quarter. Solid subscription sales growth continued in the daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, where number of subscriptions grew even by 6% y-o-y, and the VOD service Ruutu+. Helsingin Sanomat business section, HS Visio, was successfully launched in the beginning of March and we are very happy to see how enthusiastically it has been received by the readers. Development of our B2B advertising sales was also solid against a relatively strong comparison of the first months of 2020, just before the coronavirus pandemic started. Visibility into the B2B demand is currently very low, and we expect quite cautious development in the first half of the year and more weight on the second half. A positive overall performance is visible also in the regional news media business, where the integration has been successful, and we now start to see the synergy benefits in earnings. When it comes to the events business, the sentiment and optimism for this season have been anything but stable during the spring time with slowness of the vaccination progress especially among younger age groups. During the summer season 2021, organising of live events will depend on the opening of the society in Finland and we will make final go/no-go decisions on an event-by-event basis. Uncertainty related to the events business was evident already in February when we gave our Outlook for this year, and therefore the Outlook remains unchanged.”

“Highlights of the first quarter also included the launch of our updated Sustainability Strategy and a very successful issuance of a 3-year EUR 200 million bond, both in early March. Our Sustainability Strategy focuses on six themes, in which we have the highest impact: Inclusive learning, Sustainable media, Trustworthy data, Valued people, Vital environment and Responsible business practices. We have also set targets for each theme and are happy to tell more about our plans towards them in a dedicated virtual ‘Sanoma Sustainability Day’ presentation on 8 June. More information on the event is available at www.sanoma.com/en/investors. Our sustainability story also played a key role in the success of the bond issuance as we experienced high demand in particular among ESG investors.

The exceptional times with the coronavirus pandemic continue as we have now already entered the second year. At Sanoma, successful remote work continues, and thanks to the discipline and dedication of our employees we have been able to stay healthy and safe. Related to the pandemic, some cost mitigation actions continue, while we actively invest in digital development in both businesses and may experience somewhat higher warehousing, IT and hosting costs just like in the previous year. The pandemic has not changed our long-term financial targets and strategic priorities: we have a solid financial position and the ability to create a positive cash flow, and our aim is to continue to grow our K12 learning business organically and through M&A.”