INTERIM REPORT JANUARY - AUGUST 1997 The Groups operating profit for the first eight months of the yea totalled FIM 106 million, up 31 % on the same period in 1996 (January - August 1996: FIM 81 million). Consolidated net sales were FIM 1,038 (1,030) mi
AAMULEHTI GROUP STOCK EXHANGE RELEASE 8 October 1997, At 12.00 am local time INTERIM REPORT JANUARY - AUGUST 1997 The Groups operating profit for the first eight months of the yea totalled FIM 106 million, up 31 % on the same period in 1996 (January - August 1996: FIM 81 million). Consolidated net sales were FIM 1,038 (1,030) million. Earnings per share were FIM 7.33 (5.03). The Groups solvency ratio on 31 August 1997 was 56 % (45 % on 31 December 1996). The profit for the full year is expected to be distinctly higher than in 1996. Net sales The consolidated net sales for January - August totalled FIM 1,038 (1,030) million. Growth was particularly noticeable in Alpresss net sales, compared to the same period last year. All the newspapers increased net sales on the equivalent period in 1996, in addition to which Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy was consolidated for the full eight-month period. The comparable period included the net sales of the Aldata division, FIM 73 million, which was divested at the beginning of the current year. Exports accounted for FIM 214 million, or 20 %, of consolidated net sales (FIM 225 million, 22 %). Result The Groups operating profit before depreciation was FIM 201 (163) million, which was 19 % (16 %) of net sales. The improvement was due to expansion and greater efficiency in Alpress. The operating profit before depreciation includes other income from operations totalling FIM 3 (6) million. Other income does not include non-recurring items. The Aamulehti Groups share of its associated company results is recorded for the first time in the operating profit before depreciation. This share was FIM 8 (2) million. The comparable figure has been adjusted in line with current accounting practice. Depreciation totalled FIM 95 (82) million, the increase being due to the consolidation of Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy and to an increase in goodwill writeoffs, which totalled FIM 9 (4) million. The operating profit was FIM 106 (81) million, 10 % (8 %) of net sales. The Groups net financial expenses amounted to FIM 6 (18) million and the profit before extraordinary items and taxes was FIM 100 (63) million. Extraordinary income came to FIM 40 million, and included a FIM 39 million gain on the disposal of the Suomen Aldata Oy shares. There was no extraordinary income during the comparable period. The pre- tax profit was FIM 136 (63) million. FIM 30 (18) million, ie. 28 % of the result of operations, was deducted as tax. In the comparable period tax was calculated as 28 % of the profit for the period. The net profit for the period was FIM 105 (45) million. Earnings per share totalled FIM 7.84 (6.41), calculated by the number of shares on 31 August, and FIM 7.33 (5.03) calculated by the number of shares following the FIM 7 million increase in share capital registered on 24 September 1997. Capital expenditure Group capital expenditure totalled FIM 63 (205) million. FIM 30 million of this was required for investments in shares. The high figure in the comparable period was due to the acquisition of the Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy shares during that period. Financing and balance sheet A strong cashflow coupled with realization of shares kept the Groups financial position strong throughout the period. The largest single financing items, in addition to certain loan repayments, were the payment of the previously acquired shares in MTV Oy and a final FIM 35 million payment for the Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy shares in June. Net financial expenses were FIM 6 (18) million, ie. 0.6 % (1.6 %) of the Groups net sales. The fall in financing expenses was principally attributable to a reduction in interest-bearing debt and to lower interest rates. The Groups cash funds totalled FIM 34 (72) million at the close of the period. FIM 106 million in principal on interest-bearing loans was paid off, leaving a total of FIM 347 (565) million at the end of August. The average interest payable on the Groups interest-bearing loans was 3.6 % (5.0 %). Net gearing (shareholders equity divided by interest-bearing net debt) was 40 % (89 %). The Groups solvency ratio was 56 % (45 % on 31 December 1996). Shareholders equity per share at the end of August amounted to FIM 88.12 (FIM 89.91 on 31 December 1996). Bonds converted into shares between January and August raised the number of shares registered during this period by 1.4 million. The balance sheet totalled FIM 1,519 million at the close of the period (FIM 1,603 million on 31 December 1996). The Aamulehti share Trading of Aamulehti Corporation shares on the Helsinki Stock Exchange during the period totalled FIM 476 (121) million. At the end of August the Series I share was quoted at FIM 175 and the Series II share at FIM 172. The Series I share had a lowest and highest price of FIM 143.00 and FIM 200.10 respectively during the period, and the Series II share had a lowest and highest price of FIM 138.60 and FIM 204.00. The total market capitalization of the two series at the end of August was FIM 1,543 (814) million. Nominee- registered shares accounted for 20 % (25 %) of the share capital at the close of the period. Increases in the companys share capital totalling FIM 14 million were registered during the period as a result of bond conversions. The registered share capital of Aamulehti Corporation at the close of the period was FIM 89 (71) million. The conversion period of the convertible bonds ended on 31 August 1997 under the terms of the merger of Aamulehti Corporation and MTV Oy. After the preceding increase in share capital was registered, convertible bonds were converted into shares by the end of August for a total nominal value of FIM 29 million, which corresponded to 716,450 Series II shares. This FIM 7 million share capital increase was registered in the Trade Register on 24 September 1997. Following this registration the companys share capital totalled FIM 96 million, comprising 4,155,585 Series I shares and 5,457,313 Series II shares. There are altogether 9,612,898 shares. The Board of Directors has no authorization to raise the share capital. Personnel The Group had an average of 2,167 (2,132) full-time employees and 951 (771) part-time employees. The increase in these figures was due to the inclusion of Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy within the Group. Administration All members of Aamulehti Corporations Board of Directors resigned from the Board, as required by the merger process. The Supervisory Board elected Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Pirkko Alitalo, Bengt Braun, Matti Häkkinen, Pentti Kivinen, Björn Mattsson and Olli Reenpää as members of the Aamulehti Corporation Board of Directors with effect from 28 August 1997. The individuals thus elected will also constitute the first Board of Directors of Alma Media Oyj, as stipulated in the merger agreement. Alma Media Oyj is scheduled to start operating on 1 April 1998. The new Board of Aamulehti Corporation elected Björn Mattsson as its Chairman and Bengt Braun as its Deputy Chairman.Pentti Kivinen requested permission to resign from the Supervisory Board from 28 August 1997, having been elected to the Board of Directors of Aamulehti Corporation. Alpress According to Gallup Mainostieto (Gallup Advertising Information), media advertising increased in Finland by 7.7 % during the review period. Magazine advertising rose 21.7 %, television advertising 11.7 % and newspaper advertising 4.4 %. According to Sanomalehtien Liitto (Association of Finnish Newspapers), newspaper advertising revenue rose by an average of 3.8 % during the first half of the year. The circulations of daily newspapers fell by a good one per cent in Finland. Alpresss operations developed better than predicted and also better than average in its sector during the period. Alpress had net sales of FIM 650 (561) million between January and August. Its circulation sales were 13.0 % and its advertising sales 16.8 % higher than during the comparable period. The comparable growth figures, eliminating the effect of the Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy newspapers, were 5.3 % and 8.1 % respectively. All Alpresss major titles increased both circulation and advertising sales and the operations of Suomen Paikallissanomat Oy, which publishes regional and local newspapers, showed an increase in volume. Approximately half of the increase in Alpresss net sales was attributable to the presence of the Satakunnan Kirjateollisuus Oy newspapers for the entire review period. Compared to the same period in 1996 Aamulehtis weekday circulation rose 1.4 %, Kauppalehtis circulation 0.3 % and Iltalehtis six-day circulation 6.0 %. Satakunnan Kansa circulation fell 0.3 % and Lapin Kansas circulation fell 2.5 %. The circulations of the Suomen Paikallissanomat Oy newspapers developed unevenly. Aamulehti and Iltalehti showed the most positive development among the Alpress newspapers. Aamulehtis circulation began to rise clearly, after several years of continued decline, and its advertising sales increased by more than 8 %. Besides market conditions in general, this was also attributable to new advertising products developed jointly by the editorial and marketing departments. Despite tough competition on price Iltalehtis circulation increase was the highest in its sector. Iltalehtis circulation does not include extra campaign circulations. Kauppalehtis circulation showed modest growth but preparation for the imminent new competition has raised cost levels, and in consequence Kauppalehtis result remained at last years level. Satakunnan Kansa, Lapin Kansa and the Suomen Paikallissanomat group all recorded higher net sales and profits compared to the same period last year. Alpress Oy also owns 43 % of Pohjolan Sanomat Oy, which showed a slight loss for the January - August period. Alpresss electronic newspapers have more than 300,000 registered readers and some 20,000 - 30,000 Internet users read them daily. During the period part of Kauppalehti Online became subject to charge. This did not, however, have any significant impact on the number of daily readers. Aamulehti began its own training scheme for editorial staff. There were more than 1,000 applicants for this course, of whom 11 were accepted. The one-year course began in September. Alpresss operating profit in the January - August period was FIM 80 (40) million. The reasons behind this extremely encouraging growth, in addition to the increase in net sales, were higher operational efficiency and reduced printing costs; in Aamulehtis case, the effect of previously implemented cost cuts now also covered the entire period. Compared to last years period the greatest profit increases were recorded by the Aamulehti, Iltalehti and Satakunnan Kansa newspapers. Alprint The overall market for newspapers and sales promotional products in Finland remained unchanged. Printing overcapacity during the summer months slackened demand for magazine products, as happened last year. Increased printing capacity for magazines and promotional materials in the Scandinavian markets has caused a reduction in price levels. Growth in demand for newspaper products in the Russian market is levelling off and price levels were slightly lower than during the comparable period. Demand for magazines is recovering, however, and prices remained at last years levels. Both the Alprint Newspaper Printing Group and the Alprint Magazine Printing Group gained several major orders from Russia at the very end of the period. Alprints net sales during the period totalled FIM 549 (546) million, including FIM 176 (170) million in intragroup sales. FIM 270 (234) million of this was contributed by the Magazine Printing Group and FIM 282 (289) million by the Newspaper Printing Group. The parent company, Alprint Oy, had net sales of FIM 17 (17) million. The Pori units were included for the full period, whereas during the comparable period they were consolidated from 12 June 1996. The Magazine Printing Groups net sales increased almost 15 %, largely thanks to the Pori units, whereas the Newspaper Printing Groups net sales declined only slightly despite the fact that this Groups net sales in the comparable period included roughly FIM 30 million in one-time deliveries to Russia.Exports accounted for FIM 214 (225) million, ie. 39 % (41 %), of Alprints net sales and were distributed as follows: Russia 50 % (61 %), Scandinavia 39 % (35 %), and the rest of Europe 11 % (4 %). Of Alprints total net sales, 32 % (31 %) came from intragroup deliveries, and 29 % (28 %) from other Finnish publishers. Roughly one-third of the paper consumed by Alprint is used to print the Aamulehti Groups own newspapers. Paper prices were roughly 10 % lower than during the comparable period. During the period Alprint transferred its Sarankulma printing operation to another property owned by the Group and the Sarankulma facilities were leased to an outside company. Capital expenditure by Alprint totalled FIM 12 million and mainly involved the construction costs of the Sarankulma premises and modification work to the binding line transferred from Pori to Sarankulma.Alprints operating profit was FIM 49 (59) million. The shortfall was due to lower than forecast sales by the Magazine Printing Group during the summer months and prices of newspaper products in Russia, which were lower than during the comparable period. Alexpress Alexpress engages in local radio broadcasting activities in Helsinki, Tampere and Oulu, and in the production of short-message services. Alexpress is additionally responsible for most of the Aamulehti Groups R&D investments in new media. Alexpress Oy also owns 20 % of Radio Nova, a national commercial radio channel which started broadcasting in May 1997. Alexpresss net sales between January and August totalled FIM 9 (5) million. It recorded a loss of FIM -7 (-8) million. Associated companies The Aamulehti Groups share of the results of its associated companies for the January - August period are included under the operating profit before depreciation. The most important associated company is MTV Corporation, in which the Aamulehti Group holds 20 %. The MTV Groups consolidated net sales for the January - August period totalled FIM 668 (596), the operating profit was FIM 50 (22) million, and the net profit for the period was FIM 40 (23) million. The MTV Group contributed FIM 6 million to the Aamulehti Groups January - August result. MTVs full-year result is expected to be clearly higher than last year.Other associated companies and holdings which had an impact on the operating profit before depreciation were Suomen Tietotoimisto Oy (24 %), Tampereen Tietoverkko Oy (35 %), Pohjolan Sanomat Oy (43 %), and Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (20 %). The Groups share of the Alcap Groups result is recorded as a financial item. Parent company Aamulehti Corporation, the Groups parent company, had net sales of FIM 41 (47) million, mainly comprising rental income and invoicing for administrative services. The parent company recorded an operating loss of FIM -15 (-9) million. Merger On 22 April 1997 the Boards of Directors of Aamulehti Corporation and MTV Oy agreed to join the two companies in a combination merger to form a new communications group called Alma Media Oyj. Extraordinary shareholders meetings of the two companies approved the merger on 18 June 1997. Alma Media Oyj is scheduled to start operating on 1 April 1998. Under the terms of the agreement, the Aamulehti Corporation shares will be exchanged for Alma Media Oyj shares on a 1:1 basis and the MTV Oy shares on a 1:137.5 basis. Application will be made for listing of the new companys shares on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. In August 1997 the Council of State (the Finnish government) approved the transfer of MTV Oys operating licence, which was a condition of the merger agreement. This was accomplished by first renaming MTV Oy as MTV-Yhtymä Oy (in English MTV Corporation), after which MTV Corporation established a subsidiary called MTV Oy. MTV Corporations operations and operating licence were transferred to MTV Oy with effect from 1 September 1997. MTVs operating licence is valid on its existing terms until 14 December 1999. As required by the merger process, all members of the Boards of Directors of both Aamulehti Corporation and MTV Corporation resigned to allow their positions to be refilled. The Supervisory Boards of the two companies then elected individuals from both boards as the members of the Board of Directors of Alma Media Oyj with effect from 28 August 1997, as stipulated in the merger agreement. Prospects to year end Alpresss newspaper circulation and advertising revenues have demonstrated positive growth during the year and these revenues are forecast to continue growing during the final months of the year. Alpresss net sales for the full year are expected to exceed FIM 1 billion for the first time and its operating profit should be appreciably higher than last year. Demand for graphic services in Finland is predicted to improve during the remainder of the year in both the newspaper and magazine markets. No major changes are expected in western markets. Nor should substantial changes take place in Russia, although the major printing orders won during the summer would appear to ensure that Alprints net sales might even exceed last years level. The operating profit, however, will most probably remain somewhat below last years figure The Groups consolidated net sales for the current year are expected to match the level in 1996. The consolidated operating profit in 1996, FIM 178 million, included a one-time gain of FIM 45 million on a property sale and the pre-tax profit came to FIM 159 million. This year the Group recorded a gain of FIM 39 million on the divestment of the Aldata division under extraordinary income. As a result of this difference in accounting procedures, the Groups operating profit will remain slightly lower than last year but its pre-tax profit will be distinctly higher despite the fact that items recorded in the January - August period, as well as extraordinary merger expenses totalling more than FIM 10 million, will have a negative impact on the result for the full year. GROUP INCOME STATEMENT, MFIM 1997 % 1996 % 1996 % 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. Net sales 1,038 1,030 1,623 Operating profit before depreciation 201 19.4 163 15.8 313 19.3 Depreciation -95 -82 -133 Operating profit 106 10.2 81 7.9 180 11.1 Financing income/expenses -6 -18 -25 Profit before extraordinary items and taxes 100 9.6 63 6.1 155 9.6 Extraordinary income 40 - 7 Extraordinary expenses -3 - -3 Profit before taxes 136 13.1 63 6.1 159 9.8 Taxes for the period -30 -18 -47 Minority interest -1 - -1 Profit for the period 105 10.1 45 4.4 111 6.8 GROUP BALANCE SHEET, MFIM 1997 1996 1996 31 Aug. 31 Aug. 31 Dec. ASSETS Fixed assets and other long-term investments 1,248 1,260 1,288 Valuation items 7 12 9 Inventories 31 49 42 Receivables 199 164 160 Financial assets 34 72 104 1,519 1,557 1,603 SHAREHOLDERS EQUITY AND LIABILITIES, MFIM Shareholders equity 784 595 674 Minority interest 21 26 21 Obligatory provisions 5 5 5 Long-term liabilities 311 562 463 Current liabilities 398 369 440 1,519 1,557 1,603 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, MFIM 1997 1996 1996 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. Gross capital expenditure on fixed assets 63 205 338 SHARE INDICATORS, FIM 1997 1996 1996 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. EPS 7.84 6.41 16.04 EPS, diluted 7.33 5.03 12.74 Equity/share 88.12 83.35 89.91 NET SALES BY DIVISION, MFIM 1997 1996 1996 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. Alpress 650 561 902 Alprint 549 546 848 Aldata - 73 114 Alexpress 9 5 11 Parent company 41 47 66 Intragroup sales -211 -202 -318 Total 1,038 1,030 1,623 OPERATING PROFIT BY DIVISION, MFIM 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. Alpress 80 40 78 Alprint 49 59 94 Aldata - 1 3 Alexpress -7 -8 -13 Parent company -15 -9 29 Group bookings and associated companies -1 -2 -11 Total 106 81 180 PERSONNEL BY DIVISION 1997 1996 1996 8 mo. 8 mo. 12 mo. Alpress 1,102 1,056 1,046 Alprint 963 869 919 Aldata - 133 132 Alexpress 66 50 59 Parent company 36 24 25 Total 2,167 2,132 2,181 Part-time deliverers 951 771 848 GROUP CONTINGENT LIABILITIES, MFIM 1997 1996 1996 31 Aug. 31 Aug. 31 Dec. Against own debt Assets pledged 19 19 19 Mortgages on land and buildings 160 295 275 Chattel mortgages 136 104 92 On behalf of others Mortgages on land and buildings - 15 - Guarantees 4 4 4 Other own commitments Leasing commitments 6 2 8 Buyback commitments 44 1 45 Other commitments - 4 4 Total 369 444 447 DUE DATES OF GROUP LEASING PAYMENTS, MFIM Payments due between 1 September and 31 December 1997 1 Payments due after 1997 5 DERIVATIVE CONTRACTS Foreign currency loans totalling MFIM 28 and corresponding interest expenses are protected against exchange rate fluctuations using forward contracts and currency swaps. The exchange rate differences on loans and the derivative results compared to the balance sheet exchange rates are entered under Other Financial Income and Expenses. MFIM 8 in foreign currency sales receivables due in 1997 were terminated. The figures in this interim review are unaudited. AAMULEHTI CORPORATION Ahti Martikainen Vice President, Corporate Communications ENCLOSURE: MTV Corporation: President's Review 3/1997, 1.1.-31.8.1997 Further information: President and CEO Matti Packalen, tel. +358 9 507 8715 CFO Ritva Sallinen, tel. +358 9 507 8768 Distribution: Helsinki Stock Exchange, Principal Media ENCLOSURE MTV Corporation President's Review 3/1997, 1.1.-31.8.1997 Media advertising and television viewing A total of FIM 3.0 billion was spent on media advertising in Finland in January-August 1997, according to Gallup Advertising Information. Media spending rose by 8.0% compared with the previous year. MTV3 Finland recorded sales of FIM 640 million during the period, up 11.5%. The MTV3 Channel was on the air an average of 18 hours a day in January-August. Air-time rose by 19% over the previous year. MTV3's audience share during the period was 41%, which was roughly the same as the year before. The domestic content of programming was 55%. MTV Group's turnover and profits The MTV Group's turnover amounted to FIM 667.8 million during the first eight months of the year (compared with FIM 595.9 million in January-August 1996). This signified an increase of 12.1%. Other operating income amounted to FIM 11.5 million. The operating margin was FIM 68.8 million (FIM 38.9 million) and the net operating profit was FIM 50.1 million (FIM 22.4 million). The Group's profit before extraordinary items and taxes came to FIM 59.2 million (FIM 31.5 million). The profit for the period was FIM 40.5 million (FIM 22.7 million) and the profit per share was FIM 686 (FIM 412). The profit for the period was improved by a change in accelerated depreciation amounting to FIM 9.5 million. This was booked by MTV Corporation in connection with the transfer of business operations. Extraordinary income was related mainly to the merger of MTV Corporation and Aamulehti Corporation which is set to take place on about 1 April 1998. Balance sheet At the end of the period the Group had a balance sheet total of FIM million 502.7 million (FIM 532.1 million at 31 December 1996). Equity per share amounted to FIM 6,629 (FIM 6,315 at 31 December 1996). Imputed tax liability has not been treated as a liability. Investments The Group's investments and other long-term expenditure totalled FIM 23.1 million (FIM 28.6 million). Investments to replace and maintain fixed assets totalled FIM 14.4 million, and a capital loan of FIM 8.7 million was issued to Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab. Finance The Group's financial situation remained good throughout the period. Liquid assets totalled FIM 134 million at the end of August (FIM 207 million at 31 December 1996). The Group does not have interest- bearing liabilities. Financial income totalled FIM 9.1 million in January-August (FIM 9.1 million). Personnel The Group had an average of 649 employees in January-August 1997 (641 in 1996). The MTV3 Channel The MTV3 Channel's programming continued to attract viewers in the summer. The supply of programming remained broad throughout the summer, with 19% more air-time than the previous year. In spite of beautiful summer weather, daytime programmes also found their own audiences. McGyver and Tarzan were among summer favourites. A record 12 films were shown weekly. For the first time the channel stayed on the air on Saturday and Sunday mornings during the summer. The Market Parliament talk show series, which was recorded in different parts of Finland, stimulated considerable interest. Viewers were provided numerous activity and service programmes, with On the Road, Down to Business and Five O'Clock Pulse among new names. As in past years, MTV3 toured Finland to cover large-scale events such as the Tango Market, the Sata-Häme Accordion Festival, Sysmä Summer Sounds and the Kotka Maritime Festival. The channel looked for the most beautiful municipality in Finland, visiting 56 localities. Kangasniemi was voted the winner by viewers. Good Morning Finland and the Jyrki show were also broadcast from outside Helsinki on Fridays. On Thursday evenings the Jyrki studio moved out into the street for the Red Planet talk show, which became a major event in the capital. Kalevankatu was closed to traffic for this purpose. A project was carried out in the summer to evaluate the MTV3 Channel's visual appearance. The results will be visible this autumn. The building of Finland's fourth TV channel prevented viewers from tuning into MTV3's daytime broadcasts in Tampere and Lahti, for example. Transmitter output was also lowered in the Helsinki and Turku areas, weakening picture quality. Similar disturbances can be expected during the autumn as well. The MTV3 Channel began 16:9 wide-screen broadcasts on 18 August. Jyrki and Electric Circus will regularly be broadcast in the 16:9 format. The EU granted the MTV3 Channel FIM 4.3 million to launch wide-screen broadcasts and Funny Films Oy FIM 650,000 to help it produce the Electric Circus dance programme in a wide-screen format. The EU funds came from a programme intended to support the introduction of the 16:9 standard. In honour of the MTV3 Channel's 40th anniversary, the autumn schedule is broader and more versatile than ever before. MTV3 has also become the first channel in Finland to offer 20 hours of continuous programming a day. The autumn season was ushered in gradually beginning on 11 August, when Good Morning Finland and news broadcasts returned to their normal lengths and rhythm. Other programmes were scheduled to start in September and early October, when news broadcasts will also be expanded to Sunday mornings. Group and associated companies MTV Corporation The parent company MTV Corporation had a turnover of FIM 517 million in January-August, up 14% over the previous year. MTV Oy changed its name to MTV Corporation (MTV-Yhtymä Oy) in June and re-established MTV Oy as a wholly owned subsidiary. In accordance with decisions, MTV Corporation transferred all of its business operations to the new MTV Oy on the basis of interim accounts prepared on 31 August 1997. The new MTV Oy, whose share capital was increased by FIM 200 million in the process, will continue television operations. The members of MTV Oys board of directors are Matti Packalén (chairman), Eero Pilkama and Jaakko Paavela. MTV Corporation subscribed for all the shares, handing over its assets and liabilities to the new MTV Oy as a subscription in kind. The Council of State approved the transfer of the operating licence to the new MTV Oy on the same conditions as before. The operating licence is valid up to 14 December 1999. The transfer of operations and the re- establishment of MTV Oy were connected to the merger of Aamulehti Corporation and MTV Corporation into Alma Media PLC on about 1 April 1998. MTV Oy will be in charge of Alma Media's television operations on the MTV3 Channel. The supervisory boards of Aamulehti Corporation and MTV Corporation elected new boards of directors for the companies on 28 August. Although the two companies still operate separately, the same individuals were elected to both boards. Björn Mattsson was elected chairman and Bengt Braun deputy chairman. In connection with the merger process all the board members of both companies relinquished their posts. On 28 August the supervisory boards separately elected the following to serve on the boards of directors of both companies: Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Pirkko Alitalo, Bengt Braun, Matti Häkkinen, Pentti Kivinen, Björn Mattsson and Olli Reenpää. A monitoring group consisting of representatives of both companies was established to oversee the merger. Its purpose is to investigate the current state of the companies' operations, to seek synergies and to survey new operating models. The MTV 2000 development project, which is now entirely in the company's hands, yielded significant results. After a great deal of work, new pricing and key customer systems were introduced. A production building project was also adopted. The company's strategic lines were summarized in a booklet which was distributed to every employee. Indicators will be used to monitor the achievement of goals and resulting benefits. MTV3 Internet concluded a cooperation agreement with Bonnier Online of Sweden. The first visible result was the opening of Children's Tivoli, a virtual world consisting of games and educational content which is something completely new on the Finnish scene. MTV3 Internet announced the first network business application together with the Finnish Posts. A Webcasting distribution channel provided by Microsoft and Netscape is scheduled to be introduced in the autumn and a 3D service provided together with Nokia has already been opened to the public. MTV3 Marketing was granted an ISO 9002 quality certificate on 13 August, placing the final seal on three years of work to achieve intern
- Date: 8.10.1997, 08:00
- News type: Stock exchange release
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