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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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 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 %
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.
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
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 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
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
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
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