Încă una cu Ringier, de data asta Michael, și nu SRL sau AG: va fi luni și marți în România. Vizita nu are un caracter excepțional, fiindcă se leagă, la fel ca anul trecut, de prezentarea rezultatelor financiare pe 2006 ale companiei, dar arata interesul crescut pe care Ringier îl are de la o vreme pentru companiile din Europa de Est, care face cam o treime din cifra de afaceri globală. Ceva din ce-o să spună Michael Ringier marți: 6,5 la sută creștere a cifrei de afaceri (la 828,5 milioane euro), cu 1 % creștere a profitului, la 42 de milioane de euro. Probabil că la conferința de presă se vor anunța și cifre referitoare la România, deocamdată nu le am decât pe cele despre Europa Centrală și de Est: 266 de milioane de euro turnover, creștere cu 15 la sută față de anul anterior.
Conferință de presă pe 28 martie, de la ora 10.30, la Marriott/Salonul AB.
Comunicatul de presă Ringier/Zurich (engleză):
Rising investments and turnover
Zurich, 22 March 2007
Ringier made considerable investments in new products and markets last year. Turnover rose 6.5 percent, to CHF 1,337.5 million, with a slight profit increase to CHF 67.8 million.
Profit was up 1.0 percent in 2006, to CHF 67.8 million, while cash flow, at CHF 144.5 million, was 0.9 percent higher than the year before. The 10.8 percent cash flow rate was down slightly. Because of massive investments, the 5.1 percent profit margin of Switzerland’s biggest media company was slightly below the previous year’s 5.3 percent. The Ringier’s Group turnover increased by CHF 81.2 million, or 6.5 percent.
In spite of more print advertising, publishing growth in Switzerland came in at a below-average 2.5 percent, boosting the total to CHF 569.7 million. While advertising sales rose by more than eight percent, sales of Ringier publications themselves declined almost four percent as circulation continued to drop. Integration of IRL (Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA) helped boost printing in Switzerland by one percent, to CHF 275.6 million.
Thanks to new product launches and further market gains by existing titles, turnover in Central and Eastern Europe again rose 15 percent, to CHF 430.0 million. These markets contributed 32.1 percent to Group turnover (29.8 percent in 2005).
In Asia, turnover was up 16.5 percent, to reach CHF 62.2 million. Ringier benefited from strong growth in advertising in China and from the recovery of the Hong Kong printing market.
Ringier’s 2006 statement shows heavy investments in new products, particularly the anticipated start-up losses incurred by five new dailies. Tougher competition in Central and Eastern Europe called for renewed marketing efforts. Taken together, these factors largely neutralized the higher revenues generated by regular business.
In 2006, expenditures rose by CHF 79.9 million, or 7.2 percent, to CHF 1,193.0 million – the main reasons being a 4.7 percent higher payroll figure, material costs up by 5.8 percent, and the increase in advertising and general expenditure caused by new product launches.
CHF 88.7 million in investments exceeded the previous year’s CHF 86.0 million. The biggest single investment went to the first stage of an equipment replacement project at the Ostrava newspaper printing plant in the Czech Republic. Ownership changes in the Good News event agency also represented a major investment. All investments in new products and markets were charged directly against profit and loss.
In 2006, Ringier’s workforce around the world totaled 6,887, which is 446 employees or 6.9 percent more than in 2005. IRL’s integration in the Swissprinters Group alone boosted the Swiss workforce by 222. Lower printing volumes caused workforce reductions at the Adligenswil, Zofingen and St. Gallen plants. Ringier’s foreign workforce, on the other hand, grew by 9.3 percent.
Country by country
Newspapers turnover in Switzerland declined 3.6 percent, to CHF 193.5 million. Blick and SonntagsBlick did well in the readership survey, and Blick was able to slow its circulation decline. On the other hand, free evening newspaper heute is now picked up by 211,000 readers and Blick Online posted a 75 percent turnover increase.
Magazines turnover was up 4.0 percent on the previous year, to CHF 232.8 million, and magazine ad sales grew 13.8 percent. A significant contribution came from women’s magazine Schweizer Illustrierte Style, launched in February. In French-speaking Switzerland, L’Hebdo saw an impressive turnaround, with advertising sales more than 60 percent higher than the year before. The edelweiss success story continued with close to one-fifth more advertising pages sold.
Business Media turnover increased 9.0 percent, to CHF 24.2 million, while its advertising sales took an impressive 18.8 percent leap. Readers and advertisers alike responded positively to the new CASH daily multimedia platform featuring a pioneering combination of print and electronic livepaper, audio and videocasts, web-TV and mobile applications.
New shows, games, sportscasts and other programming helped the Television division to consolidate its position as Switzerland’s leading private producer of television programming. In fact, the division’s 2006 turnover grew to CHF 50 million (+ 7.5 percent) in the year under review. RingierTV produced all the sports programming for Swisscom’s new Bluewin TV channel and for pay-TV channel TELECLUB – more than 400 ice hockey and soccer games in all for just one season. For SF1 the division produced the comedy show Genial daneben and for Sat.1 (Schweiz) the reality show mobileAct – Battle of Bands.
With the exception of newspaper printing, conditions worsened for the Print division. Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne (IRL) provides the Swissprinters Group with a strong partner in French-speaking Switzerland. IRL’s integration gave turnover a 0.6 percent boost, to CHF 398.5 million. Excluding IRL, division turnover was down 6.4 percent, the reasons being declining job printing turnover at the Adligenswil plant and turnover losses in Zofingen and St.Gallen. On the other hand, turnover at the sheet-fed offset plants in Schlieren and Rotkreuz went up considerably.
Central and Eastern Europe
Turnover of Publishing Europe was 15 percent higher, to CHF 430.0 million (previous year, CHF 373.9 million). Growth of existing titles, numerous new products and, to a lesser degree, entry in the Ukrainian market, were contributing factors. Tabloids in particular consolidated their leads in the reader and advertising markets. Line extensions to these dailies, ranging from women’s magazines and people magazines to hobby magazines – some launched in 2005 – made their own contribution to turnover growth.
But in some markets competition is heating up. In the Czech Republic Blesk found itself facing two new competitors. The launch of free newspaper 24hodin helped Ringier expand its position in this segment. Free newspapers were also launched in Romania and Serbia. The Serbian title was soon that country’s leader in ad sales. Progress in Slovakia was gratifying in spite of tabloid Novy Cas having to face its first serious competitor. Breaking into the Ukrainian market was more difficult than expected. Tabloid Blik, launched in May, fought hard to prevail in the distribution market. Ringier, together with partners, invested in a subscription copy delivery service in Hungary.
Thick newspapers and high circulation figures made investments in printing plants necessary. The expansion of the Budapest and Prague plants was concluded on schedule. Construction of a new newspaper printing plant began last year in Ostrava.
Aided by publishing and printing activities, Ringier’s Asian turnover grew by a massive 16.5 percent, to CHF 62.2 million. Hong Kong’s market recovery gave a boost to our printing activities there. At year’s end Ringier acquired plant and order book of a major competitor. Advertising revenues continued to grow in 2006, although the decline in real estate advertising impacted the Beijing and Shanghai city guides.
Outlook for 2007
In line with its new strategy, in 2007 Ringier intends to take its current titles in the direction of media combines with the goal of intelligently meshing multiple distribution channels such as print, TV, radio, the internet, mobile devices and events.
Ringier Corporate Communications