Schibsted’s result for 1998 will include significant restructuring and non-recurring expenses. At the end of 1998, Schibsted initiated programs in order to strengthen the group’s competitive position. The results will therefore be lower than earlier anticipated. The preliminary pre-tax profit for 1998 is NOK 269 million and the preliminary net profit is NOK 167 million. The Board of Directors’ will resolve the final 1998 results on February 25, 1999.
The restructuring and non-recurring expenses (NOK 176 million for 1998 of which NOK 123 million in the fourth quarter) are related to startup costs at the new printing facility in Nydalen and the transfer of major parts of Eestii Meedia’s activities to Tallinn. The results include non-recurring charges related to early retirement plans at Schibsted Trykk and Aftenposten. The weakening of the NOK has resulted in unrealised foreign exchange losses on long term debt denominated in various currencies in the fourth quarter and the share of associated companies is lower than expected due to weaker advertising markets and restructuring charges.
The tax expense will be higher than what has previously been announced due to significant charges and losses in foreign subsidiaries.