Lehtipiste, part of SanomaWSOY's division Rautakirja, announced today that single copy sales of magazines and newspapers in Finland increased by 2.7% in 2004. This was significantly more than the estimated growth of retail trade. Especially tabloids were successful: their 2.8% growth means additional sales of EUR 3.9 million.

Sales of regularly published magazines grew by 2%, but in copies their sales were down by 1.6%. As the competition between publishers has intensified, magazine publishers have launched new titles and revamped both the outlook and content of their existing magazines.

Sales of foreign newspapers increased by 5.3%. Also in this group, the number of copies sold decreased a little, by 0.7%, due to diminishing number of foreign titles distributed. Foreign magazines increased their popularity in Finland, their sales increased by 6.1% and the number of copies sold by 3.4%.

Increased competition in tabloids and weeklies

Tabloids invested in 2004 in product development, which gave them an excellent result: the tabloids, the total value of the group being EUR 116 million, grew by 2.8%, which means additional sales of EUR 3.9 million. For example Ilta-Sanomat offered its readers a selection of supplements to the tabloid: sports and sport betting weekly IS Veikkaaja, TV magazine TV-lehti and special editions. The number two Finnish tabloid Iltalehti decided to close down its magazine special Areena and invested in developing the main product.

In general, the consumers are now looking for more individual and tailored products also in newspapers and magazines. Consumption has become part of personality and magazines are expected to provide individual services and pampering. Also the increased number of single person households has an impact on the growth of single copy sales market. Family and general magazines have responded to this trend by launching special issues to certain readers.

The leading Finnish magazine publisher is Sanoma Magazines with its share of 20.6% of the sales of domestic magazines. Its growth in 2004 was faster than that of the whole Finnish magazine portfolio distributed by Lehtipiste.

Lehtipiste, Ilta-Sanomat and Sanoma Magazines Finland are all part of SanomaWSOY Group.