ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION PRESS RELEASE 27 APRIL 2006 AT 10.30
ALMA MEDIA'S MARKETPLACES EXPANDS IN NEIGHBOURING MARKETS
Marketplaces, the Alma Media unit specializing in classified advertising services, is expanding into Finland's faster growing neighbouring markets, in line with its strategy. Alma Media has acquired a 70 % holding in the property portal @apartement.pl in Poland with the aim of using this portal to launch a property service based on the City.24 concept in Poland in autumn 2006. Alma Media already owns and operates City24 services in all the Baltic countries with a fourth scheduled to open in Ukraine in May 2006.
In January Alma Media acquired a used vehicles portal, autoinfo.ee, in Estonia. This service will be renamed Motors24.ee in May and a similar service, Motors24.lv, will be started up in Latvia at the same time.
The most international of Alma Media's marketplaces is the Mascus service for used heavy equipment. Mascus currently operates independently in three countries but advertisers come from 25 countries and the service has 17 language versions. Norway has so far been the only country in which Mascus has had a licence agreement, the licensee being Hjemmet Mortensen. To speed up market penetration Alma Media has now made a further two licence agreements: in Poland with Steinborn Sp.J. and in Slovenia with Biterra Klemen Bizjak S.P.
Raimo Mäkilä, Senior Vice President and head of the Marketplaces unit, states that the expansions now undertaken support Alma Media's strategy to move increasingly from Finland into its faster growing and more populous neighbouring countries. The new acquisitions will not have a significant impact on the Marketplaces unit's net sales or profitability this year or next, he adds. "We want to enter these markets well in advance in order to expand in a cost-controlled way while being able to contribute directly to the development of the digital markets in these countries."
Further information: Raimo Mäkilä, Senior Vice President, Alma Media Corporation, +358 40 546 1892