ALMA MEDIA GROUP FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN 1 JAN.-31 DEC. 2000
ALMA MEDIA CORP. STOCK EXCH. RELEASE 15.2.2001, 9.00 AM (EET) 1/21 ALMA MEDIA GROUP FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN 1JAN.-31DEC.2000 Consolidated net sales totalled MFIM 2,880 (2,911) and the operating profit was MFIM 93 (188). Alpress and BIG reported excellent profits. MTVs performance weakened clearly. The consolidated operating profit was depressed by MFIM 40 non- recurring costs in Alprint and a MFIM 22 increase in product development investments. The Board proposes a dividend of FIM 3.00 (4.00) per share. The current years operating profit is expected to increase compared to the previous year. KEY FIGURES MFIM January - December 2000 1999 Net sales 2880 2911 Operating profit 93 188 - as % of net sales (%) 3.2 6.5 Profit before extraordinary items 70 173 - as % of net sales (%) 2.4 5.9 Equity ratio (%) 49 52 Gearing (%) 52 40 Capital expenditure 222 253 Full-time personnel, average 2887 2978 Earnings per share, diluted (FIM) 2.72 7.15 Earnings per share, (FIM) 2.77 MEUR January - December 2000 1999 Net sales 484 490 Operating profit 16 32 - as % of net sales (%) 3.2 6.5 Profit before extraordinary items 12 29 - as % of net sales (%) 2.4 5.9 Capital expenditure 37 43 Earnings per share, diluted (EUR) 0.46 1.20 Earnings per share, (EUR) 0.47 THE YEAR 2000 IN BRIEF A new business area, Business Information Group (BIG), was formed from the business information segment of Alpress, Alma Medias newspaper publishing business area. Prospects are bright for BIGs products. These are multimedia services that are distributed to subscribers in printed form and also via television, fixed online connections and mobile networks. Alpresss performance improved further and its operating profit reached a record level. BIGs net sales increased 9 % and its operating profit rose to more than 20 % of net sales. Restructuring of Alma Medias printing operations, started in 1998, was completed during the review year. Alprint now focuses on heatset printing, while newspaper printing was incorporated within Alpress from the beginning of 2001. The non-recurring costs of this restructuring reduced the operating profit in 2000 by FIM 40 million. Contract printing will increase Alpresss operating profit in 2001. Alprints full-year result of operations is expected to enter into profit again in 2001. MTVs net sales and operating profit were lower than expected. A comprehensive analysis of MTV groups operations was carried out during the second half of 2000 which resulted in a plan to raise operational efficiency by 150 man-years. Negotiations are in progress on implementing these measures, the impact of which will raise MTV groups profitability from the final quarter of 2001 onwards. Alma Media Group holds operating licences for two and a half digital channels. The terms of these licences commit their holders to start up digital broadcasting in August 2001. Alma Media believes that digital television will increased the Groups expenses by approximately FIM 50 million in 2001. Alma Media has maintained its position as Finlands leading provider of new-media content and services. Its new-media operations are divided into five classes, which are -online services of its newspaper brands -horizontal Internet portals -classified advertising -mediacom services (e.g. Internet accesses and content) -technical support services. At the years end Alma Medias online service had more than 700,000 active users. The core priorities of Alma Medias research and development in new media are Content Management, User Experience and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), together with their commercial applications. Alma Media invested FIM 6 (2) million on these focus areas in 2000. The Groups total R&D expenditure increased to FIM 56 (34) million. A further FIM 8 million was invested in the KCRnet project; this sum has been capitalized. Alma Media received approval for three new new-media patents during the year and submitted 11 new patent applications. This activity will expand considerably in 2001. Alma Medias consolidated net sales are expected to increase slightly this year and the operating profit is forecast to be higher than one year earlier. ALMA MEDIAS PERFORMANCE BETWEEN OCTOBER AND DECEMBER 2000 NET SALES AND OPERATING PROFIT BY BUSINESS AREA, OCTOBER-DECEMBER (MFIM) Net sales Operating profit/loss 2000 1999 2000 1999 10-12 10-12 % 10-12 10-12 % Alpress 290 281 3 36 28 29 BIG 73 71 3 15 18 -17 Broadcasting 291 313 -7 18 35 -49 New Media*) 27 11 145 -24 -10 -140 Alprint 209 199 5 -2 -4 100 Parent company 24 16 50 -12 -2 -500 Group entries -114 -92 24 -5 3 - Total 800 799 0 26 68 -62 *) The net sales and operating result of the New Media business area do not correspond to the legal organization. Overlaps between Alpress and BIG are eliminated by Group entries. New Media's net sales in 1999 do not include the FIM 11 million net salesof MTV Text Channel and FOR Oy transferred to the business area in 2000. Consolidated net sales between October and December were roughly equivalent to the same period in 1999. Alpresss net sales increased during the final quarter, boosted by growth in advertising and circulation revenues. Alpresss net sales and performance were also helped by the increase in Iltalehtis cover price in December. Net sales of the Business Information Group rose moderately on the previous year but its investments in new products, coupled with lower than forecast advertising sales, caused a temporary decline in operating profit during the final quarter of the year. Higher programming costs and investments in the TVTV! cable channel, started up in February, increased the overall costs of the television broadcasting operations. Net sales from advertising time decreased 5 %. The net sales and operating profit of the Broadcasting business area were down on the same period in 1999. Alma Media raised its holding in Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (Radio Nova) from 48 % to 61 % during the final quarter. A new company, KCRnet Oy, was set up within the New Media business area specializing in management of digital assets. Net Media also took over Communication Base Finland Oy, which focuses on sales promotional films and multimedia digital content, from the MTV group. This company previously operated under the name of Tuotantoyhtiö FOR Oy. New Medias net sales were boosted in particular by strong performance in the areas of classified services, Kauppalehti Online's services and MTV Text Channel services. Restructuring measures in Alprint were completed in the final quarter of the year. Alprints profitability was depressed by the restructuring costs. Profits on divestments improved the result of operations. The parent companys r&d expenditure increased markedly on the year before. ALMA MEDIAS PERFORMANCE JANUARY DECEMBER 2000 NET SALES AND OPERATING PROFIT BY BUSINESS AREA (MFIM) Net sales Operating profit/loss 2000 1999 % 2000 1999 % Alpress 1083 1069 1 132 123 7 BIG 252 232 9 52 49 6 Broadcasting 1009 1064 -5 10 48 -79 New Media*) 80 29 176 -60 -28 -114 Alprint 785 786 0 -16 0 - Parent company 92 63 46 -29 -9 -222 Group entries -421 -332 27 4 5 -20 Total 2880 2911 -1 93 188 -51 *) The net sales and operating result figures of the New Media business area do not correspond with the legal organization. Overlaps between Alpress and BIG are eliminated by Group entries. ALPRESS, BIG AND NEW MEDIA INCREASED NET SALES, BROADCASTINGS NET SALES DECREASED Alpresss circulation and advertising sales showed a clear increase, particularly in Aamulehti and Iltalehti. Growth was even more pronounced compared to the previous year since Alpresss figures in 1999 included net sales from printing activities totalling FIM 34 million. BIGs net sales rose ca. ten percent, boosted in particular by a more than 100 % increase in sales of Kauppalehti Onlines services. Kauppalehti also reported a strong increase in advertising and circulation sales. New Medias net sales almost tripled. Growth was most noticeable in the online classified ads services Jobline and DIME. MTVs net sales were reduced by lower than expected sales of advertising time. Alprints net sales remained at the previous years level. The concentration of heatset printing at a single printing works reduced the heatset units net sales but net sales of the coldset line were correspondingly increased by the higher circulations and increased page numbers of the Alpress newspapers. ALPRESS AND BIG REPORTED EXCELLENT PROFITS, GROUP R&D INVESTMENTS DEPRESSED CONSOLIDATED OPERATING PROFIT Alpress and BIG posted record-high operating profits. Alpresss operating profit, FIM 132 (123) million, represented 12 % of its net sales. BIGs operating profit was FIM 52 (49) million, or more than 20 % of its net sales. Launching of the new TVTV! cable channel raised costs by over FIM 20 million. MTV3 Channels programming costs were approximately FIM 27 million higher than in the previous year owing to an increase in programming costs. Through its investments MTV succeeded in retaining its more than 40 % share of total viewing time and its position as by far the most popular television channel in Finland. MTVs sales of advertising time were approximately FIM 70 million lower than one year earlier. The associated companies contributed FIM 24 (1) million to the Broadcasting business areas operating profit. MTV Oy owns 23.4 % of TV4 AB in Sweden, which reported net sales of 2509 (2184) million krona for the year. TV4 ABs profit before taxes reached an all-time high at 336 (218) million krona. Broadcastings operating profit was FIM 10 (48) million. New Medias costs were considerably increased by marketing expenditure throughout the year, higher R&D costs, and the start- up and development costs of new companies established at the year end. The additional input in marketing was largely responsible for an increase in the number of users of Alma Medias online services. At the end of the year these totalled over 700,000 active users. New Medias net sales almost tripled to FIM 80 (29) million. Its operating result was FIM 60 million, a major factor being the heavy increase in R&D costs, which totalled FIM 38 (23) million. These are expected to produce results in the coming years. Alprint was reorganized during the year. From now on Alprint concentrates on heatset printing, most of which takes place at a single large printing works in Tampere. Net sales of Alprints heatset line were FIM 56 million lower than in the previous year owing to the restructuring measures and the closure of certain units. Net sales of newspaper printing rose markedly. Alprint recorded an operating loss of FIM 16 (0) million for the year. Reorganization of the heatset operations generated non-recurring costs of approximately FIM 40 million and an extraordinary expense of FIM 15 million was entered on the closure of the Kaivoksela newspaper printing plant in Vantaa. Other operating income in the Alma Media Group totalled FIM 44(50) million, comprising profits on the disposal of certain MTV and Alprint operations and profits from the sale of shares. Associated companies contributed altogether FIM 27 (2) million to Alma Medias consolidated operating profit. The other most important associated companies besides TV4 AB were Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (Radio Nova), the Finnish News Agency Ltd, Tampereen Tietoverkko Oy, Baltic News Service and Pearson Television. COSTS HIGHER THAN IN 1999 The Groups operating expenses and depreciation totalled FIM 2,858 (2,775) million. Costs were FIM 93 million higher than in the previous year. The main items were FIM 40 million in costs arising from restructuring in Alpring, R&D expenditure that was FIM 22 million higher than one year earlier, and investments of over FIM 20 million in the new cable channel. All these investments are expected to increase the Groups profits in future years. Depreciation amounted to FIM 169 (176) million and included amortization of goodwill totalling FIM 17 (15) million. The operating profit was FIM 93 (188) million. Net financial costs were FIM 23 (15) million. The Groups profit before extraordinary items was FIM 70 (173) million. Extraordinary items included costs of FIM 15 million arising from the closure of the Kaivoksela hybrid printing plant and a further FIM 5 million in writedowns of local radio operations. Taxes paid during the year totalled FIM 19 (57) million. The net profit for the year was FIM 29 (114) million and earnings per share (diluted) were FIM 2.72 (7.15). The Groups balance sheet totalled FIM 2,539 (2,521) million at the end of the year. The equity ratio was 49 % (52 %) and shareholders equity per share was FIM 75.73 (79.00). CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND FINANCING Capital expenditure totalled FIM 222 (253) million. FIM 56 million comprised investments in Alprint machinery. Roughly half of Broadcastings FIM 54 million investments covered technical equipment. Some FIM 45 million of the Groups capital expenditure was devoted to acquiring holdings in business area companies and companies acquired for venture capital purposes. The Group had FIM 112 (129) million in cash reserves and bank balances at the year end. Interest-bearing debt amounted to FIM 733 (631) million. Gearing was 52 % (40 %). The additional expenses incurred by reorganizing of the printing operations, and the higher investments in new media than in the previous year, increased the need for external financing. DIVIDEND PROPOSAL Alma Media Corporations Board of Directors will propose a dividend of FIM 3.00 per share at the Annual General Meeting to be held on 20 March 2001. SUBSEQUENT EVENTS In January 2001 Alma Media launched the MTV3 Broadband Access to households in the Greater Helsinki area. Alma Media plans to capture a significant share of the two megabyte broadband connections now being marketed in Finland. MTVs competitive situation and operating environment have changed significantly in recent years. MTV will renew its operating processes in order to safeguard its competitive position. Discussions were initiated with personnel in January 2001 on the measures necessary to raise overall efficiency. These discussions will determine in more detail the action to be taken to revise MTVs operating processes, their impact on personnel and their timetable. The measures are not expected to generate significant non-recurring expenses. Efficiency will be raised by approximately 150 man-years, including changes in MTVs network of free lancers. The measures will apply mainly to programme production, news and current affairs, technical services and regional sales. Statutory negotiations with personnel representatives were started at the end of January 2001 and are expected to be concluded by mid-March 2001. Alma Media signed a long-term contract with an outside party to lease the property vacated by Alprint in Kaivoksela, Vantaa. This building has 19,000 square metres of floor space including about 7,000 square metres of office premises. The lease will have a clearly positive net impact on Alma Medias consolidated profits. In December 2000 Alma Media raised its holding in Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab from 48 % to 61 % as a result of which the Ministry of Transport and Communications put Radio Novas operating licence out to competitive tender. In February 2001 the ministry granted a new operating licence to Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab on the previous conditions. This licence is in force until the end of 2006. In February 2001 Alma Media increased its holding in the multimedia company Intervisio Oy, as planned, from 34 % to 51 %. Also in February, MTV Oy sold MTV Tuotanto Oy, which had 34 employees. MTV Tuotanto Oy will continue operating in its former premises. MTV Oy will buy in the services it needs from the company. Iltalehtis circulation during the latter half of 2000 was audited in February this year. Its 6-day circulation rose 1.0 % and its weekend circulation 1,9 % on the same period in the previous year. Iltalehti has raised its share of the afternoon newspaper market from 37 % to 38 %. PROSPECTS FOR THE CURRENT YEAR The Finnish economy is expected to grow somewhat more slowly than in 2000. Uncertainty is being fuelled by a forecast increase in volatility in Finland and particularly in the USA. Alpresss operating profit is expected to increase. Alpresss net sales will rise approximately FIM 50 million because from the beginning of the current year it has also been responsible for printing not only the Groups newspapers but those of its outside customers as well. Higher than forecast increases in paper prices will weaken Alpresss otherwise positive performance. These increases can be partly absorbed through tight control over page numbers and the use of alternative newsprint grades. Barring a clear deterioration in the Finnish economy, operating conditions will offer BIG the opportunity to raise both net sales and performance. Its profit growth and an increase in Kauppalehtis orderbook in January support this view. Television viewing increased considerably during 2000 and forecasts suggest that advertisers plan to increase their expenditure on television advertising. MTV has retained its supremacy in viewing time among all the target groups favoured by advertisers and further measures will be taken to reinforce marketing of its unrivalled position as an advertising medium. MTV has also initiated a programme to raise efficiency and enhance customer service, the impact of which will be most clearly visible in the final quarter of the year. TVTV!s net sales are expected to increase and therefore its negative impact on performance will decrease. Raising sales volumes will be imperative to improving MTVs performance. The New Media business area intends to maintain its leading position both as an Internet Service Provider and in Internet advertising in Finland. This will mean raising numbers of users at a higher rate than market growth and also doubling net sales. Excluding its investments in digital television, New Medias absolute operating loss is expected to decline as well. Alma Media expects costs of FIM 50 million in connection with the introduction of digital television in Finland this year. Alprints operating environment is not expected to change significantly this year. Alprints cost efficiency will show a clear improvement as a result of the reorganization measures carried out last year, and it is expected to record an operating profit again. As a media company, Alma Medias quarterly performance varies considerably. Its net sales in the first and third quarters are normally lower than in the second and fourth quarters and the same trend is also evident in its operating profit. Net sales in the first quarter are expected to reach the same level as in the first quarter of 2000 but the operating profit will remain below the comparable figure because of other income in the previous year. The Groups full-year net sales are forecast to increase slightly and its profitability to improve. The operating profit for the full year is expected to be higher than in 2000. PERSONNEL AND ADMINISTRATION Alma Media had 2,887 (2,978) full-time employees at the end of 2000 and a further 1,349 (1,254) part-time employees. The number of employees increased in the Groups R&D and new media functions, i.e. its New Media business area, as well as in the parent companys development unit and in the Business Information Group, notably its online services. The new subsidiaries Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (Radio Nova), MTV-Tele Oy and Balance Consulting Oy added a further 66 employees to the total workforce. Alprints operations were restructured to match the changed market situation in line with by the Groups strategy. Concentration of operations coupled with the divestment and closure of certain production units reduced Alprints personnel by 109 employees. Björn Mattsson was the chairman, and Bengt Braun was the deputy chairman, of Alma Media Corporations Board of Directors until the Annual General Meeting held on 16 March 2000. Olli Reenpää was elected chairman of the Board and Bengt Braun deputy chairman after the AGM. Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Bengt Braun, Matti Häkkinen, Olli Reenpää and Kari Stadigh served as members of the Board of Directors throughout the financial year. Matti Kavetvuo and Jonas Nyrén were appointed to the Board following the resignations of Pirkko Alitalo and Björn Mattsson for the remainder of their terms of office. No new members were elected to the Supervisory Board after Mr Kavetvuo and Mr Nyrén joined the Board of Directors. Of the members of the Supervisory Board in turn for retirement, Ari Heiniö, Paavo Pitkänen and Jarmo Raveala were re-elected. Björn Mattsson was elected to the Supervisory Board as a new member. The chairmen of the Supervisory Board were Arjo Anttila, who resigned due to age, and Björn Mattsson. The deputy chairman for the full period was Paavo Pitkänen. Pekka Niemiaho was elected as the personnels representative on the Supervisory Board in place of Vesa Kallionpää. Veli Kalle Tavakka resigned from the Supervisory Board at his own request. The Annual General Meeting appointed the firm of public accountants KPMG Wideri Oy Ab and Mr Mauri Palvi APA as companys auditors. Mr Matti Packalén was the President and CEO of Alma Media Corporation throughout the period. Two new members were added to the companys Group Executive Board during the year. Mr Juha Blomster, President of Business Information Group and Managing Director of Kustannusosakeyhtiö Kauppalehti, was appointed to the Group Executive Board at the beginning of September, and Mikko Räisänen was appointed from the beginning of November with responsibility for development and media marketing of Alma Medias digital TV and broadband access services. Mr Räisänen also sits on the boards of directors of the Broadcasting and New Media business areas. SHARES AND OWNERSHIP STRUCTURE The Board of Directors had no authorizations to raise the companys share capital during the year. Alma Media Corporations issued and registered share capital totalled FIM 157 million at the end of the year, comprising FIM 68 million in Series I shares and FIM 89 million in Series II shares. At the end of the year 33 % (32 %) of the shares were held in foreign and nominee accounts. Altogether 14 % (15 %) of Alma Medias Series I shares and 45 % (54 %) of the Series II shares changed hands on the Helsinki Exchanges during the year. Trading totalled EUR 208 (160) million. The market capitalization of the companys share capital at the end of the year was EUR 308 (497) million. Share performance (euros) Price Price Highest Lowest 3 Jan. 2000 30 Dec. 2000 price price Ser I 30.90 19.00 65.00 17.25 Ser II 31.50 19.99 70.00 18.00 In accordance with the decision of the AGM on 24 March 1999 Alma Media Corporation offered bonds with warrants totalling FIM 1,220,000 to its employees entitling subscription of altogether 610,000 Series II shares. This was a privileged issue, disapplying shareholders pre-emptive subscription rights, to Alma Media Corporations employees and also its wholly owned subsidiary Marcenter Oy. The bond subscription period was 12-24 April 1999. The bond was oversubscribed five times over. It was subscribed by 759 employees and Marcenter Oy subscribed for warrants entitling it to 75,750 shares. The average price of the Series II share, used to calculate the bond subscription price, was EUR 20,58 per share in October 1999. According to the terms of the bond, half of the shares may be subscribed from 28 May 2001 at a price 12 % above the average price in October 1999, i.e. for EUR 23.05 per share, and the other half of the shares from 28 May 2003 at a price 28 % above the average price in October 1999, i.e. for EUR 26.34 per share. Any dividends payable will be deducted from the subscription price before subscription. BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND BUSINESS AREA PERFORMANCE Alma Media Group is a mass media corporation, whose operations are divided into five business areas. Alpress is responsible for newspaper publishing, Business Information Group for producing and distributing business and financial information, Broadcasting for television and radio, Alprint for printing, and New Media for the Groups activities in the new media business. The parent company is Alma Media Corporation, whose shares are listed on the Helsinki Exchanges. The parent company is centrally responsible for the Groups corporate management, strategic planning, accounting and finance, real estate management, and its general responsibilities as a public listed company. Some 60 % of Alma Medias net sales comes from sales of television advertising time, newspaper advertising and online advertising. About 90 % of the total sales is derived in Finland. Almost exactly one-third of Alprints net sales comes from exports, two- thirds of which goes to the Nordic countries. Alma Media Groups most important international investment is its 23.4 % holding in the Swedish television company TV4 AB. Media advertising rose 7.7 % on the previous year, totalling FIM 6.6 billion according to Ad Facts Ltd. Newspapers increased their market share in media advertising as newspaper advertising rose 8 %. Television advertising increased 4 %, magazine advertising 8 %, radio advertising 9 % and online advertising 89 %. Newspaper advertising accounted for 52 % of all media advertising. Advertising in provincial newspapers increase 6 % on average, in the afternoon newspapers about 5 %, in free distribution papers 3 % and in local papers 1 %. Circulation growth was uneven among the various newspapers. Circulations of daily newspapers in Finland declined by almost one percent on average, and by over 2 % for the smaller 1-3 issues/week newspapers. Television viewing time increased 4 %. Despite this, however, television advertising lost market share to other media. The Internet grew strongly in popularity with over two million of the Finnish population using the Internet at the year end. About 90 % of this total also use Alma Medias online services. In terms of numbers of visitors, Alma Media is the largest online service provider in Finland. Internet advertising and e-commerce have developed more slowly than expected. In the graphic industry paper prices rose 2-3 %. Demand changed very little compared to the previous year. ALPRESS Most of Alma Medias newspaper publishing activities are concentrated in its Alpress business area. Kauppalehti was separated from Alpress during the year and a new business area, Business Information Group, was formed around its products. Operating conditions were favourable for both business areas. Iltalehti, which appears six days a week, is a national newspaper. Alpresss 7 days/week newspapers are Aamulehti, Satakunnan Kansa, Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat, all of which are the number one media in their respective areas. In addition to these, Alpress publishes 17 local papers and seven town and free- distribution papers. The aggregate circulation of all the Alpress newspapers is approximately 500,000 copies, and the town and free- distribution papers have a combined print-run of about 175,000 copies. The papers have altogether more than 1.5 million readers. Alpresss share of the total newspaper market in Finland is 22 %. During the year Alpress raised its holdings in Lapin Kansa Oy to 76 %, in Pohjolan Sanomat Oy to 92 % and in Kainuun Sanomain Kirja paino Oy to 92 %. The circulations and circulation revenues of the Alpress newspapers grew faster than the market average. Of the major titles, Iltalehti, Aamulehti and Satakunnan Kansa all increased circulations at the same time as the average circulations of newspapers in Finland declined by almost one percent. The aggregate circulation of Alpresss local newspapers rose almost 2 %. Alpresss total circulation revenues increased more than 3 %. Advertising revenues rose 6 % on average. Growth varied among the various newspapers from an increase of 8 % by Aamulehti to a decrease of 3 % by Kainuun Sanomat. Average advertisement prices did not change significantly. Net sales totalled FIM 1,083 (1,069) million. The previous years figure included FIM 34 million in net sales from printing operations. Alpresss operating profit was FIM 132 (123) million. Aamulehti and Iltalehti were particularly successful. BUSINESS INFORMATION GROUP Business Information Group, which is built around the Kauppalehti products, had a good year in 2000. Despite aggressive competition in the business newspaper sector, Kauppalehti succeeded in raising its circulation to an all-time high. Its circulation increased 3 % on the previous year and its circulation revenues rose 6 %, indicating that circulation growth took place from a healthy base. The strong growth in the Finnish economy favoured Kauppalehti as an advertising medium in the business-to-business market. Kauppalehtis advertising revenues increased 4 %. Balance Consulting Oy, a company specializing in corporate analysis, was acquired for the Business Information Group during the year. This company had no significant impact on BIGs net sales and result in the year. Kauppalehti owns 50 % of Suomen Uutislinkki Oy, which produces business news for media including MTV3 channel. BIG is the largest shareholder (26 %) in Baltic News Service, the leading news bureau in the Baltic region. BIGs net sales increased 9 % to FIM 252 million and the operating profit rose 6 % to FIM 52 million. BROADCASTING Alma Medias Broadcasting business area is responsible for the Groups television and radio broadcasting activities. MTV Oy is responsible for MTV3 Channel and the TVTV! cable channel, started up in February 2000. The business area also includes the Swedish associated company TV4 AB (23.8 %), Oy Suomen Uudisradio Ab marketed as Radio Nova, and the digital television companies CITY- TV and Suomen Urheilutelevisio Oy. Alma Media previously owned 48 % of Radio Nova but increased its holding to 61 % in December 2000. Daily television viewing time increased 4 %, or 7 minutes, in 2000 to 2 hours 48 minutes. MTV reached a high 40 % share of both total viewing time and prime time viewing, as required by its strategy. FIM 1.3 billion was spent on television advertising in Finland during the year. Television advertising grew only 4 %, which was less than the increase in total media advertising volume. Television advertisings share of total media advertising declined slightly to below 20 %. MTV3 Channels share of television advertising was 75 % (83 %). Sales of advertising time by MTV totalled FIM 942 (1,013) million. Television advertising did not develop as expected in Finland, and instead lost share to other media. MTV reached its viewing targets, both in total viewing time and prime time viewing. Although total viewing time by the commercial television channels increased during the year, MTV did not manage to maintain its share of television advertising. Accordingly, measures are being undertaken in MTV to improve customer service and media sales. Tougher competition has raised prices of both domestic programme production and programmes purchased from abroad. MTV lightened its cost structure during the year and outsourced certain operations. An analysis of operations was started during the year
- Date: 15.2.2001, 08:00
- News type: Stock exchange release
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