SanomaWSOY will establish a new company focusing on online business. The new company is called Sanoma Digital and will start operations on January 1, 2007. It will be jointly owned by Sanoma, Sanoma Magazines Finland, and SWelcom. Sanoma will have the majority shareholding in the company.
Sanoma Digital will focus on online business operations in Finland and the Baltic countries, seeking to develop new online consumer products and services. Sanoma's classified online services, Keltainen Pörssi, Huuto.net, and Oikotie, as well as Sanoma Online Ad Sales (Verkkomediamyynti), which sells advertising space to Sanoma's online sites, will be on the new company's responsibility. Classified online services will be managed together with Helsingin Sanomat and Ilta-Sanomat. In addition, the Group's current online products, Kiloklubi and MBNet Price Comparison, will be transferred to Sanoma Digital.
The President of Sanoma Digital Oy will be Liisa Kotilainen, who will be a member of Sanoma Corporation's Management Group. She is currently responsible for Sanoma's new media projects.
"The aim of Sanoma Digital is to launch new consumer products through flexible and quick product development. We will examine thoroughly customer needs and develop attractive media concepts. It is crucial that different units in SanomaWSOY cooperate closely, both domestically and internationally," says Kotilainen.
The new company aims to develop of new, more effective ways of selling online media. "We want to create new innovative advertising methods for our customers," adds Kotilainen.
"Digital business is a strong growth area for the SanomaWSOY Group in many of our operating countries. In Finland, the online advertising sales from our newspaper operations grew by 43% in January-September, while the market grew by 23%. With the help of Sanoma Digital we will be able to speed up the growth of digital operations even more. Through its operations and by utilising the skills and resources of our whole corporation we will be able to create additional value for our customers," says Mikael Pentikäinen, President of Sanoma.
SanomaWSOY has a strong position in online markets, especially in the Netherlands, Finland, and Hungary. SanomaWSOY has developed its digital expertise also in the Netherlands, where online business and new media projects of Sanoma Uitgevers will be combined to form a competence centre which will be headed by Paul Molenaar, CEO of ilse media, as of November 1, 2006. Molenaar will also continue as the CEO of ilse media. ilse media is the largest online publisher in the Netherlands, reaching at least 69% of all internet users. The average annual growth of the company's net sales has been 38% in 2002-2005.
The most popular ilse media sites in the Netherlands are: Nu.nl, the leading news site; Startpagina.nl, the leading starting site for browsing; ilse media, the second most popular search engine in the Netherlands; and Kieskeurig.nl, one of the leading price comparison sites in the Netherlands, which ilse media acquired in June.
"This phase in the media industry is dynamic and inspiring. The old and familiar are falling away, while at the same time many new opportunities are arising. I see this as a great chance for us to seize these new opportunities – together with our internet experts," says Paul Molenaar.
Mikael Pentikäinen, President of Sanoma, tel. +358 9 122 2000
Raili Mäkinen, President of Sanoma Magazines Finland, tel. +358 9 120 5335
Tapio Kallioja, President of SWelcom, tel. +358 10 707 1111
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