Stronger focus on international online classifieds operations

Schibsted ASA (SCH) , Published 25/04/2008 08:30:00

Faster and more efficient roll out of new online operations outside Scandinavia are among the main targets when all of Schibsted’s classifieds online sites, except FINN and a few minor operations, are gathered under one management in a new, key subsidiary, directly under Schibsted ASA.
The Board of Directors of Schibsted ASA has decided to gather all the classifieds operations outside Norway, in a subsidiary called Schibsted Classified Media AS (SCM). FINN will be a part of Media Norge. The company will have leading positions in several categories in significant markets, like Sweden, Spain, France and Italy.
Schibsted has for years been conveying and establishing successful concepts from highly developed markets to new markets. Online sites based on Swedish Blocket are today operating in Spain, France, Italy and Malaysia, while Willhaben in Austria is based on the Norwegian FINN. The Spanish recruitment portal InfoJobs is also established in Italy.
So far, the different classified online sites have been organized according to Schibsted’s geographical business areas. Now, all the operations will be managed by a dedicated team solely working with development and further internationalization of Schibsted’s different online classified operations. The reorganization will secure exchange of key resources and competences, and create synergies between markets. This will strengthen Schibsted’s position as the biggest European player within online classifieds.
From the start, SCM will consist of Schibsted’s classifieds operations in among other Spain, France and Italy. The remaining operations will be added successively. External reporting will be adapted to the new organization in connection with the release of the figures for Q2 2008.
In 2007 the SCM operations had pro forma revenues of approximately NOK 2.0 billion. Operating profit (EBITA) was approximately NOK 290 million.
Chairman of the board of Schibsted Classified Media AS will be Sverre Munck, executive vice president for Schibsted’s international operations. Managing director will be Rolv Erik Ryssdal (45). He has since 2005 been managing director of VG. Prior to that, he was managing director of Aftonbladet for five years. He has been with Schibsted since 1991.
Sverre Munck, EVP of Schibsted, says:
– The online classified market is in rapid growth, and opportunities for increasing our footprint still exist. Through the establishment of a separate unit with a dedicated management, a defined mandate for further growth, and the Group’s leading resources within online classifieds at its disposal, Schibsted has laid the foundation for capturing new positions in new markets, and at the same time creating values within existing operations. Close cooperation with FINN will secure exchange of knowledge and experience for mutual benefit.
Schibsted Classified Media’s most important positions.
Contact persons:
EVP International, Sverre Munck, tel: +47 91 68 66 99
CFO, Trond Berger, tel: +47 91 68 66 95
Oslo, 25 April 2008
Jo Christian Steigedal
IR Officer