ALMA MEDIAS CORPORATE STRUCTURE FOCUSED ON GROWTH INDUSTRIES
ALMA MEDIA CORP. STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 15 June 2000 at 10.00 am 1/4
ALMA MEDIAS CORPORATE STRUCTURE FOCUSED ON GROWTH INDUSTRIES
Alma Media will form its business-to-business publishing into a
separate business area. Alprints regional newspaper printing units
will be transferred to Alpress, and Alprint will subsequently
specialise in magazine printing and digital prepress asset
management. Alprint will cancel the planned replacement investment
in a printing press for its Vantaa unit. The released cash flow will
be mainly used to finance new-media development projects.
Alma Media Groups corporate structure will be changed to match
future strategic priorities. Alma Media is seeking organic growth in
content production and new-media. Production of economic information
and its distribution through papers and TV and in particular through
dedicated and mobile networks is the most dynamically growing media
sector. New technologies provide possibilities to offer consumers
new economic information services and products.
Newspaper printing is an essential element for the production
process of Alma Medias regional daily papers. For this reason,
Alprints regional newspaper printing units will be organisationally
integrated with Alpress. As a result of the changed market
situation, Alprint has decided to cancel the replacement investment
in a hybrid newspaper rotation for its Kaivoksela unit in Vantaa.
Alprint will specialise in offering one-stop shop services to
customers who need heat set and special printing products.
Business-to-business publishing into a separate business area
Alma Media will form business-to-business publishing into a separate
business area. New services and products to professional investors
will be based both on printed media and dedicated networks and on
real-time information distributed over mobile networks.
The area will comprise Kauppalehti, Kauppalehti Online and
Kauppalehti Optio as well as the new operations involving production
and distribution of economic information. Mr. Juha Blomster, M.Sc.
(Econ.), has been appointed President of the company as from 1
September 2000. He is currently the President of Kustannus Oy
Aamulehti. Mr. Blomster who has also been appointed member of Alma
Media Corporations Group Executive Board from the same date will
report to Alma Media Corporations President and CEO, Mr. Matti
Kauppalehtis Executive Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Lauri Helve, will
continue as publisher of Kauppalehti and member of Kustannus Oy
Kauppalehtis Board of Directors and Alma Medias Group Executive
Cross-media product Saldo will be launched in September 2000
The new business area will launch a cross-media product called
Saldo. Saldo includes a Friday supplement delivered to subscribers
of Kauppalehti, targeted mainly at private households and individual
investors. The themes addressed in Saldo will also be discussed in a
weekly program on MTV3 and on the Internet.
The Saldo concept will also include a mutual fund, Conventum Aktive,
launched in co-operation with Conventum Fund Management Limited.
Conventum Aktive is a domestic balanced fund and the minimum
subscription is EUR 1,000. It is the first mutual fund in Finland
where all the holdings can be publicly monitored on an ongoing
basis. The portfolio manager of the fund is Conventum. The
performance of the fund, its portfolio and investment decisions will
be analysed in the magazine, on TV and Saldo Internet pages.
A virtual fund, Saldo Interactive, will be established on Internet
simultaneously with Conventum Aktive. At launch its holdings will be
identical with the actual Conventum Aktive Fund. In fact, persons
who have invested in the fund can make online investment proposals
in the virtual fund where they will also be given consideration. The
performance of the virtual balanced fund and investment decisions
will be monitored and the performance of the fund will be compared
with Conventum Aktive.
Morningstar rating service will be opened in August 2000
Kauppalehti Online is Finlands most popular online service focusing
on economic issues. Its users number about 70,000 a week.
Kauppalehti Online services are available in dedicated networks and
also through Alma Medias mobile portal Port Alma.
Kauppalehti Online will launch its rating service for mutual funds
in Internet as a new operation in August this year. The service is
based on the methodology developed by Morningstar, Inc., established
in the United States in 1984. Kauppalehti is the sole licensee of
the Morningstar methodology in Finland. Kauppalehti will market the
service to trading places and investment management companies, among
others; the service will be free to end users. Investors can use the
service to conveniently compare risk-adjusted performance in
different investment funds over a chosen period. The Morningstar
rating service is used in the United States, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, Sweden and Japan.
Mr. Heikki Saraste, whose main responsibility is to lead the Alpress
business area, has been appointed Kustannus Oy Aamulehtis President
as from 1 September 2000. Mr. Kai Telanne has been appointed
Executive Vice President, responsible for marketing, effective from
the same date. Mr. Matti Apunen will continue as Executive Editor-in-
Alprints regional newspaper printing presses to Alpress
Newspaper printing is a critical element in the publishing of
morning newspapers in Alma Media. In line with this strategy,
Alprints newspaper printing units in Tampere, Pori, Rovaniemi and
Kajaani will be transferred to the organisation of Alpress from the
beginning of 2001.
The present capacity situation of cold set products will enable
several newspapers of Alpress to implement a make-or-buy strategy.
Iltalehti, one of the major Alpress papers, is currently partly
printed externally. Alprint will continue to be responsible for the
sales of tabloid printing capacity and for purchases of paper and
Alprint will specialise in magazines and other heat set products
In the past year, Alprint has developed its organisation to meet
market demand. Alprint will from now on concentrate all its magazine
printing operations in a production unit completed in May 2000 at
Rahola, Tampere. Alprints Vantaa and Pori units that specialise in
magazine printing will be closed down before autumn. Alprints
profitability will significantly improve from the beginning of 2001
as a result of these measures.
As the printing of daily papers will be transferred from Alprint to
Alpress, Alprint will focus especially on printing of magazines and
other heat set products. The production unit at Rahola, Tampere,
will have the most sophisticated machinery and finishing capacity in
Scandinavia. Rahola unit builds networks with other service
producers within this industry both in pre-press operations and
printing. Digital pre-press asset management is a key development
priority for Alprint.
Due to the changed domestic market situation and the adjusted
internal strategic line of Alma Media Group, Alprint has decided to
discontinue the Altti 2001 project intended to replace the printing
machine of the Kaivoksela unit in Vantaa during 2001. The estimated
value of the cancelled investment was about FIM 140 million. Alprint
will initiate negotiations with personnel and analyse the impacts of
the cancellation on the operations of the Kaivoksela production
Publisher, Executive Editor-in-Chief Lauri Helve:
"The circulation, advertisement sales and performance of Kauppalehti
have developed extremely positively. Kauppalehtis business-to-
business operation will expand especially in the electronic
services. The sustainable development of the company will require
increased investments in management resources. Managing the business
of this company is no longer a part-time job."
According to Mr. Helve, the decision to cancel the printing machine
investment will not affect Kauppalehtis future plans. "Two years
ago, Kauppalehti launched a project to change the format of the
paper into a totally four-colour economic tabloid paper. The
cancellation decision will accelerate the change, and our objective
is to have the capabilities in place to introduce the new format by
the year-end", Mr. Helve says.
President and CEO Matti Packalén:
Mr. Matti Packalén mentions that the organisational change and the
cancellation of the printing machine investment will release
resources that can be directed to future growth areas. Forming
business-to-business publishing into a separate business area will
strengthen its development.
According to Mr. Packalén, by cancelling the investment, the Group
can release a significant cash flow during this and next year. These
funds will now be redirected to new development projects, mainly in
For additional information:
Mr. Matti Packalén, President and CEO, Alma Media Corporation; tel.
+358 9 507 8715
Mr. Risto Takala, President, Alprint Oy; tel. +358 9 507 8500
Mr. Heikki Saraste, President, Alpress Oy; tel. +358 9 507 8768
ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION
Distribution: Helsinki Exchanges, principal media