Finland's leading magazine publisher, Sanoma Magazines Finland, succeeded in further strengthening its position during the first part of the year, in terms of both media and circulation sales. Women's weekly Me Naiset put in a particularly strong performance.

Me Naiset, which is Finland's leading women's weekly, increased its advertising sales, measured in terms of both euros and pages, at a time when media sales generally have fallen significantly as a result of the economic downturn. The magazine also saw higher subscription and newsstand sales compared to the first part of 2008, and the title's financial performance has continued to develop positively.

Sanoma Magazines Finland's share of media sales on the Finnish magazine market increased by 2.2 percentage points to 21.4% between January and May this year, according to data from TNS Media Intelligence. The company has also strengthened its position as the country's number one in newsstand sales.

"Being the market leader has been one of our central strategic goals for a number of years. Our performance has shown that we've made the right decisions over the years to achieve this and retain our position during difficult times like the ones we're now seeing," says Ms. Raili Mäkinen, CEO of Sanoma Magazines Finland.

"Our number-one position, our attractive portfolio of titles, and our strong brands enable us to weather the type of very challenging economic times we're experiencing more effectively than our competitors and develop our sales and the long-term future of our business."

Besides being Finland's largest magazine publisher, Sanoma Magazines Finland is the market leader in women's and family magazines, children's and juvenile titles, and consumer IT magazines. In addition to Me Naiset the company publishes several segment leaders: ET-lehti, Kodin Kuvalehti, Hyvä Terveys, Gloria, Cosmopolitan, Aku Ankka, MikroBitti, Suuri Käsityölehti, Vauva, Sport, Matkaopas and Pelit.

"We are committed to developing our overall portfolio and our individual titles on a continuous basis. The success of Me Naiset in recent years, which has seen it become Finland's leading women's weekly, is an excellent example of how the right input in the right places can revitalise existing titles. While the excellent success of SARA, one of our most recent launches, highlights the fact that there is still demand for new titles that address specific groups of readers, if the magazine is right," continues CEO Raili Mäkinen.

Sanoma Magazines Finland is Finland's leading magazine publisher and the market leader in women's and family magazines, children's and juvenile publications, and consumer IT titles. The company's more than 40 magazines are read by over 3 million Finns. Sanoma Magazines Finland also produces a number of custom publications and has a strong online presence. Net sales in 2008 totalled €205.6 million.

Sanoma Magazines is part of Sanoma, a strong European media group with activities in 20 countries.