"We remain committed to our profit and strategic targets," says SanomaWSOY's President & COO, Hannu Syrjänen, outlining the Group's prospects for 2001. He describes the year as a challenging one. The soft growth projections for media advertising and the increased economic uncertainty in Finland have contributed to a wait-and-see attitude that will have an impact on the pace of development across the media industry.

"Thanks to our strong brands, competitiveness, and good market position, we nevertheless believe that we can grow and develop our businesses better than the market average," he continues, and forecasts that SanomaWSOY's new businesses will generate a profit in two to three years' time.

"We project that SanomaWSOY's net sales will increase by around 6% this year, to well over EUR 1.5 billion. We expect our operating profit to be at the same level as in 2000. The Group's profit before extraordinary items will be below that in 2000, as asset management-related income will not reach the exceptionally good level seen last year."

Syrjänen adds that if the economic situation and developments on the advertising market continue to weaken, this could have a stronger-than-expected impact on the Group's performance.

Hannu Syrjänen highlights the importance of SanomaWSOY's four key strategic targets of profitability, growth, international expansion, and training.
"To achieve these goals, SanomaWSOY will focus on its core competencies by growing its existing businesses and expanding into new areas and markets. We have also launched major training programmes for senior and middle management that will give participants access to the latest thinking from leading Finnish and international experts."