ALMA MEDIA CORP. STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 7 SEPT. 2005, 9.30 1 (1)
ALMA MEDIA WITHDRAWS FROM INTERACTIVE MEDIA TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION
Alma Media will sell its NWS unit to Plenware Group Oy on 1 October 2005. NWS, part of Alma Media's Marketplaces business unit, is responsible for designing and producing technological interactive media solutions. The 37 employees of the NWS unit will move to Plenware Group Oy with existing status and benefits.
Alma Media is releasing capital and resources from support functions, to focus these on its core activities. The Group's principal businesses are newspaper publishing, the publishing and distribution of financial information, and internet marketplaces.
Raimo Mäkilä, head of the rapidly growing Marketplaces unit, continues in this position. Net sales of Marketplaces rose 26% during the second quarter this year and growth is expected to continue. Marketplaces is the Group's fastest growing and internationally expanding of Alma Media's business units. Its largest businesses are Etuovi.com (home-buying), Autotalli.com (used vehicles) and Monster.fi (jobs). The City24 real estate service now operates in Estonia and Latvia.
Estimated net sales of the NWS business in 2005 is EUR 4.5 million. Its largest customers are MTV Interactive, Kauppalehti Online and Iltalehti Online. Alma Media has been working with Plenware since 1999. Among other things, Plenware has been Alma Media's main technology development partner for the Etuovi.com and Autotalli.com portals.
Plenware is a Finnish provider of software development and quality assurance services 69%-owned by its key employees and 31%-owned by the Sention Kasvurahasto growth fund. Plenware has a workforce of 340 and offices in Tampere, Espoo, Turku and Oulu. Plenware's core competences lie in software and telecommunications solutions and quality assurance services. The company works in close co-operation with leading players in its businesses and, in addition to handling customer projects, has developed its own products. Plenware's net sales target for 2005 is EUR 26 million.
ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION
Raimo Mäkilä, SVP, Marketplaces, Alma Media, tel. +358 40 546 1892
Hannu Meskanen, Managing Director, Plenware Group Oy, tel. +358 50 1487
DISTRIBUTION: Helsinki Exchanges, principal media
Alma Media, a leading Finnish media corporation, publishes newspapers, produces and distributes economic information, and maintains online marketplaces. The Group has more than 30 newspapers in its portfolio. The aggregate circulation of the subscribed papers totals approximately 600,000 copies. The Group's newspapers are estimated to have over two million readers.
Alma Media's best known products are the Aamulehti, Iltalehti, and Kauppalehti papers and the Etuovi.com home-buying Internet service. The Group derives roughly 40 % of its net sales from newspaper circulation revenues and income from content sales. Pro form net sales in 2004 (excluding the television and radio broadcasting operation divested in 2005) amounted to EUR 284 million, generating an operating margin of 12.9 %. The company has 2,850 employees. More information at http://www.almamedia.fi/home