”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.”