Added impetus for the Group's international expansion
SanomaWSOY is to form two new subsidiary groups out of its existing businesses, one of which will concentrate on electronic media and the other on magazine publishing.
SanomaWSOY is to establish a separate, independent sub-group for its strategically key electronic media and new media activities and related development projects. The objective of this reorganisation is to strengthen the growth and international expansion potential of both sub-groups and to make efficient use of internal synergies. It will also enable important development investments to be better coordinated and key human resources in both areas to be more closely focused on strategic development processes.
Helsinki Media's TV activities (Channel Four), cable-TV activities (HTV), and digital-TV activities will be transferred to the new electronic media group. In addition, SanomaWSOY's Internet portal and mobile portal development projects will also be transferred; as well as the video and audio services provider Tuotantotalo Werne, the video duplication and CD producer Måndag, and iMedia, a producer of Internet solutions, all from Helsinki Media. The new structure will create a good foundation for new forms of cooperation and partnerships as operations develop and expand.
"The reorganisation will create a major sector focused on new and electronic media within the SanomaWSOY Group. The unique, high-quality know-how that it will have access to will give it good market potential, both domestically and internationally," according to SanomaWSOY's President & CEO, Jaakko Rauramo. "The reorganisation will also strengthen Helsinki Media's potential to concentrate on its core business of magazine publishing and direct its resources more effectively towards international expansion and new development projects."
The new electronic media sector is projected to have net sales of nearly FIM 500 million this year; and Helsinki Media net sales of some FIM 920 million.
Helsinki Media's current President, Tapio Kallioja, who has served as President since the group's founding in 1993, has been appointed as President of the new electronic media sector. Eija Ailasmaa, who has been Helsinki Media's Deputy President since 1998, has been appointed President of Helsinki Media and a member of the SanomaWSOY Group's Management Group.
Both subsidiary groups will begin operations on July 1, 2000.
FINLAND'S LEADING NEW AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA GROUP, FINLAND'S LEADING MAGAZINE PUBLISHER
Helsinki Media is Finland's largest magazine publisher in terms of both net sales and circulation, and the market-leader publisher of women's and family magazines, comics, and home computer and professional IT magazines. In addition, Helsinki Media publishes children's and young people's books based on well-known story and comic characters. It is also a leading publisher of corporate publications and corporate directories. Helsinki Media operates in Finland and Sweden.
Channel Four Finland, which will form part of the new electronic media sector, has rapidly built a strong position on the Finnish commercial TV market, particularly among the active, young urban population. Channel Four's net sales rose by 49% in 1999. The channel's operating licence has been extended to 2006 and the channel has been granted a digital-TV licence. A new digital film channel will be launched in August 2001. Helsinki Television (HTV) is Finland's largest cable-TV operator; 205,000 households currently subscribe to HTV services. HTV's network is completely digital and will be fully multiplexed by the end of this year. HTV cable Internet users total some 4,000.
SanomaWSOY's Internet-based Virtual Portal, launched in October 1999, has been designed to bring the Group's various environments for content creation, customer management, advertising and e-commerce services on the Internet under one umbrella. SanomaWSOY set up a new mobile portal company, Swwap Oy, in March to extend distribution of the Group's content products to the growing mobile user base. The first version of Swwap's operator-independent, open mobile portal will be trialed in summer 2000.
A conference call (in English) covering SanomaWSOY's first-quarter result released today at 12.00 a.m. Finnish time will begin at 3.30 p.m. Finnish time. For more information, please call +358 105 19 5025 or send an e-mail to email@example.com by 11.00 a.m today, May 17.
For further information and requests for comments, please contact SanomaWSOY's Investor Relations and Communications Department on +358 105 19 5062.
Raija Kariola Vice President Investor Relations and Group Communications
DISTRIBUTION Helsinki Exchanges Principal media