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
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
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
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
-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
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
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
The parent companys r&d expenditure increased markedly on the
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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