Increased efforts on new initiatives and a weak development towards the end of the quarter have led to the group operating profit (EBITA) for Q4 2005 being lower than in the same period in 2004. The development in the group’s core markets and underlying operations has been in line with previous communication. Estimated operating profit before goodwill and other revenues and costs (EBITA) for Q4 2005 is approx. NOK 240 million including costs relating to new initiatives of NOK 65 million. In Q4 2004 the group had an operating profit of NOK 301 million.
Operating profit (EBITA) for the four large newspaper groups and FINN is in line with the development that has been communicated earlier: VG NOK 51 million (NOK 64 million in Q4 2004), Aftenposten NOK 75 million (NOK 43 million), Svenska Dagbladet SEK 7 million (SEK 6 million) og FINN NOK 21 million (NOK 16 million). Aftonbladet is negatively impacted by new initiatives and had an operating profit (EBITA) of SEK 88 million (SEK 96 million) in Q4. This result includes a negative contribution of SEK 16 million from Teleadress and Hitta.
Operating profit for 20 Minutes in Q4 2005 is NOK 60 million lower than in the same quarter in 2004. NOK 34 million of the difference is explained by the exclusion of the Swiss operations, while the remaining profit decline can be attributed to circulation increase and growth initiatives. Following the launch of 8 new editions, 20 Minutes is now the largest regular newspaper in Spain with approx. 2.3 million readers. The development of 20 Minutes France is positive and in line with the group’s expectations.
Sesam has an operating loss in Q4 2005 of NOK 33 millon.
CFO Trond Berger, tlf. 23 10 66 95
Oslo, January 31st, 2006
Gisle Glück Evensen