Linnamäe group reports profits of over €300 million for year to April 2021

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Margus Linnamäe. Source: Magnum AS

Holding company MM Grupp, owned by businessman Margus Linnamäe, has reported yearly profits of over €300 million, the bulk of which has come from the progress of selling a major pan-Baltic advertising company. The group made losses on its pharmaceutical businesses, it says, the result of last year's pharmacy reforms.

The MM Grupp says total profits stood at €302 million across all sales.

The bulk of this derived from the sale of Baltic Classifieds Group, a company that had consolidated the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian advertising business in July 2019, to the Apax Partners fund, for an undisclosed sum.

Excluding financial transactions and the sale of subsidiaries, MM Group earned a profit of €3.8 million, the company says, and sales revenue of €711 million.

The MM Group owns a number of different companies and brands, including the Postimees Grupp, operator of the daily newspaper of the same name.

The four-page annual report covers all companies in which Margus Linnamäe has a stake: The Magnum pharmaceutical wholesalers, Pet City animal stores, Postimees Grupp, Apollo cinemas and bookstores, and IM Computers and Valge Klaar – which sell Apple products – among others. Apollo is the group responsible for bringing KFC to Estonia.

There are around 150 legal entities comprising the MM Grupp, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, though the exact figure often changes.

More than half of the revenue for the year to 2021 came from sales in Estonia, but market shares in Latvia and Finland are growing.

Pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sales accounted for 64 percent of the total.

The group also had to sell its holdings in retail pharmacies to dispensing pharmacists in the past year, as a result of a much-debated pharmacy reform which came into effect in April 2020. The company says it lost €12.3 million due to the reforms, but this was mitigated somewhat by expansion into the Latvian and Lithuanian markets.

While millions of euros in dividends have been paid to owners in previous years, the company does not plan to distribute dividends for the past year, it says.

The share of equity in the MM Group's balance sheet of €604 million stands at 54 percent, while the balance sheet volume has increased one and a half times on the year from the level of €397 million it was at a year earlier, when equity was 15 percent of the total balance sheet volume.

Taking away a sale of the classified adverts group, equity is estimated at almost €135 million, ERR reports.

The company employed just under 3,700 people, 132 down on the previous year and mainly due to the pharmacy and advertising business sell-offs.

Margus Linnamäe owns a 78 percent stake, Ivar Vendelin 20 percent Aare Kurist the remaining 2 percent.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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