ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION PRESS RELEASE SEPTEMBER 12, 2007
ALMA MEDIA INTRODUCES A NEW ONLINE SERVICE FOR CONSUMERS
On September 15, Alma Media will open a new online classified advertisement service called Mikko.fi (www.mikko.fi
). Mikko.fi is Alma Media's first online service primarily intended for trading between consumers. Mikko.fi will in future link the classified ads in Alma Media newspapers with the online marketplace. The online service will offer readers a new advertising channel while providing corporate advertisers an interesting new advertising environment.
The Mikko.fi service allows consumers to buy or sell, give or take, as well as rent useful items in a variety of product groups. In addition, the service will include an online auction service with items visible on Mikko.fi but also at a separate address Huutomikko.fi (Auction Mikko.fi). Basic ads on Mikko.fi are free of charge.
The Mikko.fi online service has set its sights on being the most popular classified ad service in Finland by the year 2010, measured by the number of both items and visitors. It is expected that at the end of this year, there will be tens of thousands of advertised items online.
"Trading between readers is growing both in Finland and other countries. In this context, we wanted to complement our online services with an electronic marketplace primarily intended for reader-to-reader trading that covers many businesses and product groups. Mikko.fi is also a modern way of strengthening the connection between a newspaper and its readers on the internet", says Mr Raimo Mäkilä, Director, Alma Media Marketplaces.
Mikko.fi has been designed with a view to reliability and security while being easy to use. Interaction between users, combined with a sense of community, are central elements of the service. "We have previously succeeded in building several leading online services together with the users. This expertise has also been used in developing Mikko.fi, and we will continue to do so even when the service is running", Mr Mäkilä continues.
One of the services that makes life easier for Mikko.fi users is a postal service concept unique in Finland: those doing business in the service will have the opportunity to print out official parcel address cards of Finland Post and use their pricing and delivery services. In addition, the online postal service will be priced lower than traditional Post services. The Mikko.fi service will in future be complemented by other postal services that support online trade.
Mikko.fi also creates a closer connection between online services and Alma Media newspapers. The Group's provincial newspapers Aamulehti, Kainuun Sanomat, Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Satakunnan Kansa will move their after-text classified ads under the heading Mikko.fi starting in mid-September. The new online service also allows the design and sending of advertisements direct to Alma Media provincial newspapers.
Raimo Mäkilä, Director, Marketplaces Group, tel. +358 10 665 5802
Riikka Wulff, Director, Mikko.fi, tel. +358 40 777 8299
Rauno Heinonen, VP Corporate Communications, Alma Media Oyj, tel. +358 10 665 2251
Alma Media is a profitably growing and internationally expanding company that invests in the future of newspapers and the online media. Its best known products are Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com.
Net sales in 2006 totaled EUR 302 million and the operating margin was 16 %. The company's share is listed in the Mid Cap segment of the OMX Nordic Exchange's Nordic List, trading code ALN1V. More information at www.almamedia.fi