Schibsted Media Group implements measures that will reduce the cost base in the business area Media Houses Scandinavia by around NOK 190-210 million. Parts of the effect are a consequence of reduced headcount by 160-200. The measures will be implemented in the period 2012-2014 – with a majority of the effect in 2012.
The measures will affect the operations in Media Norge and VG in Norway, as well as the Schibsted operations in Sweden, mainly Aftonbladet.
In Media Norge and VG, gratuity pension will be offered for employees reaching 62 years in the period 2012-2014. This is a continuation of previous programmes, which gives employees an opportunity to retire at the age of 62 years. Identical offers are given to employees of VG and Aftonbladet.
– This is a good and attractive scheme for those of our employees in this category that chooses to retire. We have to work continuously to adapt to the significant structural changes in the media industry. Today, we produce good results in our Norwegian newspapers, which makes it possible to offer an attractive and voluntary retirement scheme, Didrik Munch, CEO of Media Norge says.
The scheme is expected to reduce the cost base of the Norwegian operations in Schibsted by NOK 70-90 million. The headcount number will be reduced by 100-120. The measures will be implemented gradually in the period 2012-2014.
In Sweden, the administration is given a mandate to implement measures that will reduce the cost base by around SEK 150 million with full effect in 2013. Around half of the effect is a result of reduced number of headcount, and between 90 and 110 employees will be affected. The largest savings will be in Aftonbladet where the effect will be around SEK 100 million. In Aftonbladet between 65 and 85 employees will be affected.
– Today, Aftonbladet is the leader in all channels. We are making this change to ensure that we’ll be leading also in the future. By conducting such measures now, we obtain the possibility to be in an attacking mode and develop our offer to both readers and advertisers, Anna Settman, CEO of Aftonbladet says.
The measures in Norway and Sweden will imply restructuring charges of around NOK 200 million, probably in Q4 2011.
Schibsted has not experienced any significant change in trend in the advertising markets in the period after the Q2 2011 results were published in August. In Norway (excluding online classifieds) the markets are around flat for media houses (print and online combined) compared with the same period in 2010. In Sweden, the market is flat or slightly negative. Online classifieds is still growing well in Norway and Sweden.
VG has decided to raise the cover price on Fridays from NOK 17 to 20 kroner with effect as of 7 October 2011. The price change will have a positive twelve months EBITDA effect of NOK 20-25 million.
Trond Berger, CFO, mobile +47 916 86 695
Oslo, 30 September 2011
Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations