ALMA MEDIA GROUP FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN JAN. DEC. 1999
ALMA MEDIA CORP. STOCK EXCH. BULLETIN 18 FEB 2000, 9.00 AM 1/20 ALMA MEDIA GROUP FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BULLETIN JAN. DEC. 1999 Consolidated net sales totalled FIM 2911 (2868) million, EUR 490 (482) million; Alpress (+18 %), Broadcasting (MTV) (-4 %), New Media (+107 %), Alprint (-11 %). The consolidated operating profit was FIM 188 (242) million, EUR 32 (41) million. The Board proposes a dividend of FIM 4.00 (4.00) per share. KEY FIGURES, FIM million January-December 1999 1998 Net sales 2911 2868 Operating profit 188 242 -as % of net sales 6.5 8.4 Profit before extraordinary items 173 225 -as % of net sales 5.9 7.8 Equity ratio (%) 52 51 Gearing (%) 40 39 Capital expenditure on fixed assets 253 219 Personnel on average 3108 2905 Earnings per shares (FIM) 7.15 9.21 EUR million January-December Net sales 490 482 Operating profit 32 41 -as % of net sales 6.5 8.4 Profit before extraordinary items 29 38 -as % of net sales 5.9 7.8 Capital expenditure on fixed assets 43 37 Earnings per share (euro) 1.20 1.55 PERFORMANCE IN FOURTH QUARTER Consolidated net sales between October and December 1999 totalled FIM 799 million (FIM 782 million in October-December 1998). Net sales of Alpress rose 14 %, Broadcasting (MTV) decreased 5 %, New Media rose 120 % and Alprint declined 1 %. NET SALES AND OPERATING PROFIT BY BUSINESS AREA, OCTOBER DECEMBER, (MFIM) NET SALES OPERATING PROFIT/LOSS 1999 1998 1999 1998 10-12 10-12 % 10-12 10-12 % Alpress 352 309 14 46 42 10 Broadcasting 313 330 -5 35 59 -41 New Media*) 11 5 120 -8 -5 -60 Alprint 199 201 -1 -4 -3 -33 Parent company and other businesses 16 16 - -2 -15 87 Intragroup net sales/ Group entries -92 -79 -16 1 0 - Total 799 782 2 68 78 -13 (* The net sales and operating profit of the New Media business area do not match the legal organization. Overlaps with Alpress are eliminated in the consolidated entries.) The growth in net sales of Alpress was driven in particular by a strong increase in newspaper advertising, higher circulation revenue in Iltalehti and the consolidation of the Kainuun Sanomain Kirjapaino Oy after the comparable period. Operating profit was increased most of all by Iltalehtis higher circulation revenue and an overall increase in Alpresss advertising revenue. MTVs net sales of advertising time were 5 % down on the comparable period. Its operating profit was also depressed by an increase in programme costs. New Medias net sales surged largely as a result of growth in revenues from Kauppalehti Onlines and MTV3Is advertising and content sales and a broadening of the apartment sales services provided by Alma Medias DIME e-classified ads site. Alprints net sales and profitability reached the same levels as in 1998. A fall in price levels in Finland and Russia eliminated the cost savings achieved by rationalization of operations. PERFORMANCE BETWEEN 1 JANUARY 31 DECEMBER 1999 NET SALES AND OPERATING PROFIT BY BUSINESS AREA (MFIM) NET SALES % OPERATING PROFIT/LOSS 1999 1998 1999 1998 % Alpress 1301 1107 18 172 150 15 Broadcasting 1064 1114 -4 48 111 -57 New Media*) 29 14 107 -28 -16 -75 Alprint 786 880 -11 0 29 - Parent company and other businesses 63 66 -5 -9 -32 72 Intragroup net sales/ Group entries -332 -313 6 5 0 - Total 2911 2868 2 188 242 -22 (* The net sales and operating profit of the New Media business area do not match the legal organization. Overlaps with Alpress are eliminated in the consolidated entries.) Consolidated net sales in 1999 totalled FIM 2911 million (January- December 1998: FIM 2 868 million) and the operating profit was FIM 188 (242) million. Net sales was increased by vigorous growth in newspaper advertising, higher circulation revenue in Iltalehti and the net sales of new Alpress units. Net sales of MTV and Alprint declined by altogether FIM 144 million. Pohjolan Sanomat Oyj was consolidated in the Alpress business area from November 1998 and the Kainuun Sanomain Kirjapaino Oy from the beginning of 1999. Alpress recorded an operating profit of FIM 172 (FIM 150) million. Television advertising lost market share in media advertising to newspapers and magazines. Net sales of the Broadcasting (MTV) business area fell 4 % owing to weaker than expected demand for advertising time. The reduction in sales of advertising time depressed the business areas operating profit by almost FIM 40 million. This business areas performance is affected by MTV Oys Swedish associated company TV4 AB. Net sales of TV4 AB totalled 2184 (2057) million Swedish krona and the estimated result on which Alma Medias consolidated financial statements are based was 190 (121) million krona. Alma Medias consolidated statements include the Groups 23.4 % share of TV4 ABs estimated result less amortization of goodwill. TV4 ABs profit after financial items totalled 218 million Swedish krona according to the financial statements published on 15 February 2000. This was 28 million krona above the estimate used in Alma Medias financial statements and therefore Alma Medias profit for the year is in fact approximately FIM 2 million higher than reported. The difference will be adjusted in the first interim financial statements of 2000. The impact of TV4 AB on the Broadcasting and Alma Media results in the 1999 financial statements was FIM -1 (-7 ) million. Broadcasting posted an operating profit of 48 (111) million. In terms of site users, Alma Media is the largest provider of Internet services in Finland with more than 400,000 visitors every week. Net Media recorded net sales of FIM 29 (14) million and an operating loss of FIM -28 (-16) million. The business areas net sales rose 107 % on the previous year. This figure mainly comprised revenue from advertising and content sales of its online newspapers, MTV3is advertising revenue, and income from the DIME, Jobline and other online services. Alprints net sales fell FIM 94 million, i.e. 11 %, owing to the contraction of exports to Russia. Lower demand caused a strong reduction in prices of printed products in Finland as well as in Russia. Alprints operating profit was only slightly positive (1998: FIM 29 million). The decline in Russian exports reduced Alprints profit by FIM 20 million and the fall in prices by a further FIM 5 million. Exports represented FIM 261 (359) million of consolidated net sales and consisted entirely of Alprints products. Exports to the Nordic countries totalled 68 % (39 %), to Russia 22 % (52 %) and to other countries, principally Great Britain, 10 % (9%). Other operating income amounted to FIM 50 (25) million, comprising among other things profits on the sale of operations outsourced by MTV Oy and profits on the sale of securities and real estate by the parent company. Associated companies contributed an aggregate FIM 2 (-3) million to Alma Media Groups result. Besides TV4 AB, the Groups other major associated companies were Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (Radio Nova), Suomen Tietotoimisto Oy and Tampereen Tietoverkko Oy. The Groups expenses rose 5 % on the previous year to FIM 2600 (2477) million. Underlying this increase was an aggregate 10 % growth in MTVs programme costs, as well as content and marketing investments by Kauppalehti and Iltalehti, and increased investments in New Media operations. Depreciation totalled 176 (171) million. Amortization of goodwill amounted to FIM 15 (13) million. The operating profit was 188 (242) million. Net financial costs were FIM 15 (18) million. The profit before extraordinary items was 173 (225) million. The profit before tax was 175 (242) million. Income tax totalled FIM 57 million (76). The net profit for the financial year was FIM 114 (163) million. Earnings per share were FIM 7.15 (9.21). Capital expenditure Capital expenditure amounted to FIM 253 (219) million. Repair and maintenance of Alprints production machinery absorbed FIM 115 million and FIM 41 million covered acquisitions of shares in Alpress companies. Financing The Group had FIM 129 (158) million in cash reserves and bank balances at the close of the period. Interest-bearing debt amounted to FIM 631 (630) million. FIM 40 million (net) of principal on loans was repaid but the consolidation of Kainuun Sanomain Kirjapaino Oy added FIM 41 million of new debt to the balance sheet. Gearing was 40 % (39 %). Shareholders equity and equity ratio Shareholders equity totalled 1243 (1205) million. The accumulated depreciation difference was FIM 223 (226) million, which included 158 (163) million entered under shareholders equity and FIM 65 (63) million in deferred tax liabilities. Minority interest was FIM 24 (28) million. The equity ratio at the close of the period was 52 % (51 %). Shareholders equity per share was FIM 79.00 (76.60). Personnel and administration The Group had 3108 (2905) employees on average during the year, as well as 1059 (983) part-time newspaper delivery staff. The same figures at the close of the period were 3010 (3002) and 1047 (1021). The consolidation of Kainuun Sanomain Kirjapaino Oy added 100 new employees. MTVs personnel fell by 70 and Alprints by 23. The Chairman of the Board of Directors was Mr Björn Mattsson and the Deputy Chairman was Mr Bengt Braun. The Board members throughout the period were Mr Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Ms Pirkko Alitalo, Mr Matti Häkkinen and Mr Olli Reenpää. Mr Pentti Kivinen served on the Board from 1 January to 24 March 1999 and Mr Kari Stadigh from 24 March 1999 onwards. Mr Matti Häkkinen, who was in turn for retirement from the Board, was re-elected. The Chairman of Alma Medias Supervisory Board was Mr Arjo Anttila and the Deputy Chairman was Mr Paavo Pitkänen. In turn for retirement were Mr Matti Ahde, Mr Jukka Koivisto and Mr Arto Liinpää, all of whom were re-elected. New members were Mr Hannu Jaakkola and Mr Veli Kalle Tavakka, who was elected for the remainder of Mr Jukka Rantalas two-year term of office after the latters resignation. The Annual General Meeting appointed KPMG Wideri Oy Ab and Mr Mauri Palvi APA as the companys auditors. Alma Media Corporations President and CEO throughout the period was Mr Matti Packalén. Three new members were appointed to Alma Media Corporations Group Executive Board during the year. Kauppalehtis Editor-in-Chief Mr Lauri Helve was invited to join at the beginning of May to bring a journalistic perspective to the Groups decision-making. Alma Medias new media operations were regrouped to form the New Media business unit at the beginning of September and at the same time its president, Mr Raimo Mäkilä, was appointed to the Group Executive Board. Mr Ilkka Kylmälä was appointed President of MTV Oy and a member of the Group Executive Board from the beginning of December. Shares and ownership structure The Board of Directors had no authorizations to raise the share capital during the period. Alma Media Corporations share capital totalled FIM 157 million at the end of the year, comprising FIM 58 million in Series I shares and FIM 89 million in Series II shares. At the end of the year 32 % (37 %) of the shares were owned by foreigners or held in nominee accounts. Altogether 15 % of Alma Medias Series I shares and 54 % of the Series II shares changed hands on the Helsinki Exchanges during the year. Trading totalled EUR 160 million. The market capitalization of the companys share capital at the end of the year was EUR 497 million. Share performance (euro) Price Price Highest Lowest 4 Jan. 1999 30 Dec. 1999 price price Ser. I 28.43 31.00 40.50 19.00 Ser. II 28.00 32.00 40.00 18.80 In December 1998 the Otava-Yhtyneet Group, Sampo Group and Varma- Sampo Mutual Pension Insurance reached a mutual purchase option agreement concerning Alma Media Corporation shares. The parties exercised their option rights under this agreement in August 1999 and announced that any outstanding unexercised rights were henceforth cancelled. In May 1999 Alma Media Corporation offered bonds with warrants to its employees entitling subscription of altogether 610,000 Series II shares. Under the terms of the bond, half of the shares may be subscribed from 28 May 2001 at a price per share exceeding by 12 % the average price during October 1999, i.e. EUR 23.05 per share; and half of the shares from 28 May 2003 at a price per share exceeding by 28 % the same average price, i.e. EUR 26.34 per share. Any dividends payable will be deducted from the subscription price before subscription. The average price of the Series II share during October 1999 was EUR 20.58. Year 2000 readiness Alma Media made substantial investments in testing its systems, equipment and databases for Y2K compatibility and upgrading them as necessary over a period of three years. This gave rise to costs totalling over FIM 18 million, most of which comprised essential renewals scheduled to take place before the change of year. No Y2K disturbances to Alma Medias systems were observed during the roll- over into the year 2000. Subsequent events Alma Media entered the residential advertising market in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area with the merger of its DIME Internet service and the new Asuntopörssi newspaper. This newspaper, with print-run of 500,000 copies, is distributed twice a month to all households in the region. MTV entered the cable television business in February 2000 in anticipation of the forthcoming multi-channel environment. On its launch, TVTV! had distribution contracts with 520,000 households. There are approximately 900,000 households with cable television in Finland. Iltalehtis circulation during the second half of 1999 was audited in February 2000. Iltalehtis six-day circulation increased 7.0 % and its weekend circulation 10.2 % on the same period in 1998. Iltalehti has gained market share in afternoon newspapers as its competitors six-day circulation fell 0.1 % and weekend circulation 3.1 %. Iltalehti also began television operations in February. On weekdays Iltalehti produces a discussion forum on subjects of topical interest for the TVTV! cable TV channel. This programme is also broadcast nationally via MTV3 on Fridays. This addition to Iltalehtis activities is a logical step in the integration of its online services and television. Since November MTV3 Channels business news has been produced by Uutislinkki Oy, a company jointly owned by MTV Oy and Kauppalehti. This service combines the expertise of MTV Oy, Kauppalehti and Kauppalehti Online, while simultaneously strengthening their brand visibility. In February Iltalehti Online launched new paid "plus" services including news, games and chat services. Customers can pay for these services either as a fixed charge or in conjunction with their telephone bills. In February Alma Media announced a one million US dollar strategic investment in Netsage Corporation in Silicon Valley, California. Netsage is a two-year-old software company based in San Francisco and Colorado specializing in animated and voice-based virtual sales assistants and computer-aided instruction products. The investment was accompanied by an agreement calling for the development of virtual e-commerce sales assistants for Alma Medias DIME e-classified ads service. Alma Media and the Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) of the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration announced a major co-operation agreement in February covering the study of media content consumption and development of new product concepts for new services and e- commerce. The results will be used to develop user interfaces for digital online services. The project links Alma Medias content production knowhow with leading international universities in the field such as Stanford University and the MIT MediaLab in Boston, USA. Hitotsubashi University in Japan will provide access to Japanese media survey companies. Prospects for 2000 The Finnish economy is forecast to grow somewhat more than in 1999, which creates a good foundation for solid business growth. This prognosis is reinforced by forecast growth in media advertising, a further reduction in unemployment and increased consumer confidence in the future. Alpresss business and competitive environments are expected to remain virtually unchanged, and consequently its net sales and operating profit should develop at least as fast as average growth in this sector. Television viewing increased substantially during 1999. Advertisers are forecast to begin increasing expenditure on television advertising. MTV Oy substantially restructured its customer service organization at the end of 1999. MTV3 Channels sales of advertising time are expected to show a moderate rise. MTV Oys profitability will be depressed this year by increasing programme costs and its roughly FIM 30 million investment in the new TVTV! cable television channel. Net sales of the new channel will depend crucially on how rapidly the distribution companies make the channel visible on their cable networks and also on how many of the cable TV companies so far not covered by distribution contracts can be attracted to distribute the channel. MTV groups result is expected to reach the level in 1999 despite its heavier investments. The New Media business areas goal is to maintain its leading position as a provider of online services and in Internet advertising in Finland. This will call for higher than average market growth in user numbers and a doubling of net sales. Profitability is expected to rise but investments will keep the operating loss at last years level. No major changes are expected to take place in Alprints business environment. Its ongoing streamlining programme will not start to have a significant impact until after the year 2000, and therefore Alprints operating performance is expected to remain at the level in 1999. Alma Media Groups net sales are expected to increase and operational profitability will improve. Operating profit is forecast to roughly equal the 1999 figure despite of strongly growing investments to New Media. Dividend proposal The Board of Directors of Alma Media Corporation proposes to the Annual General Meeting on 16 March 2000 that a dividend of FIM 4.00 per share be paid. Business conditions and division performance Alma Media Group is a mass media company with four business groups. Alpress is responsible for newspaper publishing, Broadcasting for television and radio broadcasting, Alprint for printing services, and New Media for the Groups new media operations. The parent company, Alma Media Corporation, is listed on the Helsinki Exchanges. It is centrally responsible for the Groups business management and strategic development projects, financial control and treasury, real estate holdings, and its obligations as a listed company. Some 60 % of Alma Medias net sales comes from sales of television advertising time, newspaper advertising and Internet advertising. Direct advertising revenue also includes income from promotional products printed by Alprint for customers outside the Group. Alma Media Group generates approximately 90 % of its net sales in Finland. Exports account for virtually one-third of Alprints net sales and two-thirds of this figure are derived from the Nordic countries. Alma Media Groups most significant international commitment is its 23.4 % holding in Swedens TV4 AB. Preliminary information suggests that Finlands economic growth slowed down slightly, compared to the previous year. Growth was roughly three percent, having been 5.0 % in 1998 according to official estimates. Short-term interest rates rose roughly three percentage points during the year but interest rates are still very low. The 12-month euribor rate was 3.87 % at the year end. Unemployment fell by one percentage point during the year to nine percent. Unemployment rates vary very considerably in different parts of the country. Media advertising rose 5.6 % on the previous year. Growth during the first six months exceeded 7 % but virtually halted in August- September. Growth picked up again in the last months of year, and especially during December. According to Ad Facts Ltd total expenditure on media advertising totalled FIM 6.0 billion. Newspaper advertising rose 7 %, magazine advertising 5 %, television advertising 1 %, radio advertising 4 % and Internet advertising 69 %. Newspaper circulations developed unevenly. The circulations of Finlands daily newspapers fell by roughly one percent on average, while the circulations of the smaller newspapers published 1-3 times a week declined by more than 2 %. Television viewing time grew by a record 7 %. However, television advertising lost market share to other media. The Internet surged in popularity with some 1.3 million Finns using online services by the year end. About 90 % of these had also used Alma Medias digital services. Alma Media is the largest Internet services provider in Finland in terms of number of users. Its online services are frequented by more than 400,000 Finns every week (December 1998: 200,000). Alma Media has captured about one-third of total Internet advertising. The downswing in demand for graphic products in the Russian market which began in August 1998 continued throughout the year. Exports of printed products from Finland to Russia fell by approximately FIM 400 million. The reduction in exports, coupled with an increase in domestic capacity, pushed price levels down both in Russia and in Finland. Paper prices did not change significantly. Alpress Alpress is the Alma Media business area for newspaper publishing. Alpresss national newspapers are Iltalehti, published six days a week; Kauppalehti, a daily business newspaper; and Kauppalehti Optio, a bimonthly supplement of Kauppalehti. Alpresss daily newspapers are Aamulehti, Satakunnan Kansa, Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat, all of which are the number one media in their regions. Alpress also publishes 15 local and 8 town and free-distribution newspapers. The Alpress newspapers have an aggregate circulation of more than 575,000 copies and the print- run of the free-distribution newspapers is about 165,000 copies. These publications have about 2.1 million readers. At the end of the year Alpress held over 20 % of the Finnish daily newspaper market. Seventeen of the Alpress publications are also published on the Internet. The circulations and circulation revenues of Alpresss publications grew faster than the market average, 1 % and over 3 % respectively. Alpresss advertising revenue increased 16 % to FIM 94 million. Excluding new units, the increase totalled 6 %. Alpresss circulation sales rose 13 % and other net sales 117 %, the latter being attributable to the inclusion of the whole net sales of both Pohjolan Sanomat Oy and Kainuun Sanomat Oy in Alpresss accounts. Alpress recorded net sales of FIM 1301 (1107) million and an operating profit of FIM 172 (150) million. Iltalehti, Aamulehti and Kauppalehti showed particularly strong growth. Broadcasting Alma Media Corporations television and radio broadcasting activities were formed into a new business area called Broadcasting on 1 December 1999. MTV Oy is responsible for the terrestrial MTV3 Channel, a new cable television channel TVTV! scheduled to come on the air in February 2000, and the development of new digital channels. The business area also includes the associated company Oy Suomen Uutisradio Ab (48 %), marketed under the name Radio Nova, and TV4 AB (23.4 %) in Sweden. Total television viewing increased 7 % during 1999, while MTV3 Channels viewing time rose 8 %; Finnish viewers watched MTV3 Channel for an average of 1 hour and 7.5 minutes a day. In the face of intensifying competition MTV3 Channel retained its share of total viewing time at over 40 %, which is high by European standards. FIM 1.2 billion was spent on television advertising in Finland, up only 1.4 % on the previous year. Television advertisings share of total media advertising fell slightly, remaining at approximately 20 %. MTV3 Channel pulled in 83 % (88 %) of total television advertising. It was also the largest single advertising media in Finland with advertising sales of FIM 1013 (1073) million. MTV3 Channels prime time advertising prices were increased by 5 % on average during 1999, while non-prime time advertising prices were cut substantially since sales during daytime hours were low. Average viewing figures increased by over four percent during 1999 and therefore the price increases did not significantly affect cost per thousand. MTV Media Oy, which has been responsible for advertising sales since the end of the year, will be merged with the parent company. Sales and marketing were reorganized at the same time to improve service and raise efficiency. MTV3s pricing and structural changes affected sales more slowly than expected. The associated companies had a slightly positive impact on MTV groups operating profit. MTVs consolidated net sales contracted by over 4 % to FIM 1064 (1114) million. Of this figure, advertising sales amounted to FIM 1013 million and other net sales FIM 52 million. Comparable operating expenses increased 2 % on the previous year, the largest items being programme costs and the operating licence fee. MTV Oys operating licence fee was 2 % higher than in 1998 despite the five percent drop in advertising sales. Underlying this development was a new law which came into force at the beginning of 1999 broadening the base forming the licence fee from solely advertising to include sponsoring and text TV products as well. Other costs declined on the previous year. MTV groups operating profit was FIM 48 (111) million. This included FIM 13 million in other operating income, the largest item of which was the divestment of MTV Viihde Oy during the third quarter, generating a profit of FIM 11 million. New Media New Media has been a core development priority of Alma Media for several years and it will continue to remain so. This led to Alma Medias decision in August to regroup all its new media activities into a new business area, New Media, from the beginning of September. Alma Media Net Ventures Oy is responsible for most of the technical maintenance, R&D and development projects related to Internet services. The commercial and content projects are principally the responsibility of Alma Media Interactive Oy. Net sales of the New Media business area includes advertising revenue from the online publications, income from content sales and other services, MTV3is advertising revenue and text TV income, and advertising and other income from the DIME, Jobline, eTori and other Internet services. Alma Medias New Media strategy is to be the first to reach the marketplace, so as to ensure that its products establish themselves as the number of Internet users rises. Iltalehti Online and MTV3i, started in 1995, were the Groups first Internet services. Today, MTV3i is the second most popular Internet service in Finland with over 197,000 weekly visitors and Iltalehti Online is the third most popular with 150,000 weekly visitors (Web Traffic Monitor: January 2000). Kauppalehti Online, introduced in 1996, is the first multi-service online service for investors. With currently over 57,000 weekly visitors, it is by far the most popular Internet business service in Finland. Alma Media has continuously introduced new products and services, as well as developing, renewing and diversifying its existing services at regular intervals. Its first digital products were based on well-established brand products and have since been supplemented with new online services. Alma Media currently offers some 30 different online services. In terms of number of users, Alma Media is the largest Internet services provider in Finland. Its services were used weekly by more than 430,000 people in January 2000. Roughly 400,000 of these users are registered in the New Medias AHAA customer management system, a database developed by Alma Media for containing all users of Alma Medias online services. In addition to supporting media advertising, the AHAA system also enables New Media to develop new and more appealing online services. AHAA can be used for precise targeting of advertising and, for example, to integrate various e-commerce sites with digital services. The AHAA customer management system has been developed giving special attention to safeguarding the confidentiality of individual users in close collaboration with an authorized data security company. New products added to the MTV3i portfolio include the Finnish language Luukku.com e-mail service, and the ShopIt and eTori e- retail sites. MTV3i further broadened its activities in the autumn when it started joint marketing of ISP connections with the Kesko retail chain and Fujitsu. Some two million hits were registered on MTV3is pages in January 2000. MTV3i recorded net sales of FIM 10 million. Kauppalehti Onlines services were renewed and broadened in October. Launches during the year included new GSM services and the first WAP services. Kauppalehti Onlines net sales totalled FIM 7 million, roughly one-third of which comprised advertising revenues and two-thirds licences fees and sales of content and services. Sales of mobile services grew particularly vigorous at the end of the period. In the area of classified advertisements Alma Media Net Ventures launched a new combination of print and online services. Since the beginning of the year the DIME newspaper printed from the DIME database was also distributed with the Kauppalehti and Iltalehti newspapers and the same classified ads were also available on MTVs text TV pages. In summer Alma Media Net Ventures acquired 80 % of the Asuntopörssi apartment advertising papers in Jyväskylä, Tampere and Pori, and integrated them into the DIME service. A new e-classifieds service was the introduction of Autotalli for motoring enthusiasts. The Autotalli service is offered by MTV3i and online Aamulehti. The Jobline recruitment service was highly successful, and by the end of the year its database had 15,000 active job seekers. New Medias classified advertising sales totalled FIM 8 million. Alma Media maintained its market share in online services, which were used by twice as many people as one year before. Ad Facts Ltd estimates that Internet advertising in Finland totalled FIM 37 million in 1999. The New Media business area recorded net sales of FIM 29 (14) million. FIM 18 million of this figure came from banner advertising and classified ads. The operating result was a loss of FIM 28 (-16) million. MTV3i, Kauppalehti Online, Iltalehti Online, Jobline and DIME-Asuntopörssi all recorded positive results. The operating loss was caused by increased R&D investments. Alprint Market conditions were difficult for Alprint throughout the year. Exports of printed products to Russia have curtailed drastically since August 1998, falling to FIM 400 million below the previous record year even though export volumes had already decreased substantially in the final four months of 1998. The slump created approximately FIM 600 million in annual free capacity. The situation was further weakened by the building of new printing capacity in Finland and Russia. Overcapacity has sharply reduced price levels in both countries. Exports to the west, however, rose clearly while price levels and paper prices remained essentially unchanged. Alprint spent approximately FIM 300 million on paper stocks, roughly one-third of which was employed on printing of Alma Medias own publications. Alprint introduced streamlining measures to cut costs and build up a cus
- Date: 18.2.2000, 08:00
- News type: Stock exchange release
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