Sanoma Magazines International (SMI), a part of SanomaWSOY Group, and the Bulgarian company Bliasak Media OOD, will start a 50/50 joint venture, effective as of January 1, 2004. They will operate on the Bulgarian magazine market via Sanoma Bliasak Bulgaria AD.

Sanoma Bliasak Bulgaria AD will have the licence to publish the Bulgarian edition of Cosmopolitan and the preparations for the magazine have begun. The first issue, April '04, will appear at the end of March 2004. Other major media projects of the new joint venture are in the process as well.

Cosmopolitan is the world's most popular magazine among young women and it is currently appearing in 49 countries. Sanoma Magazines publishes Cosmopolitan in the Netherlands, Romania, Finland and Hungary.

Bulgaria fits well in SMI's strategy

According to Hannu Syrjänen, President & COO of SanomaWSOY Group, Bulgaria fits extremely well in the strategy of Sanoma Magazines International. - SMI aims to the leading publisher of consumer magazines in Central and Eastern Europe, where it has been operating since 1992, Hannu Syrjänen says.

The population of Bulgaria is 7.5 million. The country has gone through a heavy change and economic growth since the economic crash and the collapse of the socialist government in 1996. Bulgaria has been negotiating on joining the European Union since 2000. In 2002, the nation's GDP grew at a pace of 4.8%

Sanoma Magazines International is part of SanomaWSOY's magazine publishing division Sanoma Magazines B.V., which is one of the top five consumer magazine publishers in Europe. The division publishes some 220 magazines in nine European countries. Sanoma Magazines is market leader in Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. It also operates in Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Sweden.

Bliasak Media OOD is the publisher of Bliasak, Maximum and Sudbi&Dom, which are among the most read magazines in Bulgaria. These titles have been transferred to the new company Sanoma Bliasak Bulgaria AD.

SanomaWSOY is the leading media group in the Nordic region, with operations in 14 European countries. The Group is comprised of five divisions: Sanoma Magazines (publishing magazines and press distribution), Sanoma (publishing and printing newspapers), SWelcom (electronic media), WSOY (publishing, printing and calendar operations), and Rautakirja (kiosk operations, press distribution, bookstores, movie theatre operations and restaurant operations). SanomaWSOY is in the leading position in several fields of the media. SanomaWSOY's net sales in 2002 were EUR 2.4 billion.

Contact information:

Koos Guis, CEO Sanoma Magazines International

Tel (+31) 20-8512151, e-mail:


Raija Kariola
Vice President
Investor Relations and Group Communications

Helsinki Exchanges
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