Following the announcement of Sanoma’s full-year results earlier today, I’m pleased to share with you that Sanoma Learning delivered a good performance in 2014. Thank you to our customers for your trust in us, and thank you to our people for your contribution in making this happen!
We engaged with about 10 million pupils and 1 million teachers across Northern Europe, helping pupils to develop their talents and teachers to excel as professionals. We looked ahead and invested heavily to strengthen our position as a leader in the digital transformation. We created some new opportunities in big emerging markets, like China. And we built new teams to lead Sanoma Learning into the future.
Sales of digital and services grew by about 15%, to more than € 50m for the first time in our history, underpinning top-line organic sales growth of 1%. Our profitability was strong with a margin of 17.6%, excluding non-recurring items but including heavy investments in the future. Around half of our business now plays on digital or multi-channel format, making us maybe continental Europe’s biggest EdTech company in K-12 education today!
Good progress locally
Malmberg in The Netherlands launched five major initiatives in primary, secondary & vocational education and in testing & assessment, giving us a strong position in the market and leading to good sales growth.
Nowa Era is executing a new strategy to address the legislative changes in Poland. Under these challenging circumstances we still delivered organic growth. Amongst others, the new exam preparation offering was a big success.
At Sanoma Pro, we built a new and digitally skilled team that has developed a multi-channel strategy to drive our transformation in preparation for the new curriculum in 2016 in Finland.
Van In in Belgium once again delivered top line sales growth, driven by a strong performance in primary education (supported by our winning gamified exercise platform, Bingel) and is now building a solution for differentiated learning in secondary education.
At Sanoma Utbildning we took big steps with our digital transformation strategy and are preparing ourselves for the next generation in Sweden.
Looking internationally, Young Digital Planet realised four deals bigger than € 1m in emerging markets, planting seeds the seeds for future growth.
Our focus for 2015
Digital is going to be very important for the future of education in all of our markets. We will invest strongly in new multi-channel offerings and our capabilities (such as the co-development program) to bring them to the market, so that we go a step further in helping teachers to excel as professionals and pupils to get the best possible learning outcomes.
We intend to make use of our reputation as leader in the world’s best performing education systems and a frontrunner on the digital transformation and will strive to establish a partnership with a local player in an emerging market to boost our opportunities for growth.
And last but not least, we intend to stay in robust financial and operational health, by winning in the market and taking care of the costs as we do it.
I’m proud of our people at Sanoma Learning! I want to thank you again for your good and hard work and look forward to working together with you this year. Respect!