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    The U.S. magazine publisher expands into the U.K.

    Sport Diver UK and Sport Diver US

    Bonnier Corporation has announced it is further expanding its reach overseas by acquiring Sport Diver UKand pairing it with its own Sport Diver brand. Bonnier Corporation purchased the magazine from Archant Lifestyle.

    The move builds on Bonnier Corporation’s international expansion within the dive market — just last year it introduced the Sport Diver brand into the Asia-Pacific region with its digital-only magazine Sport Diver Asia Pacific. In addition to Sport Diver, Bonnier Corporation publishes Scuba Diving and produces The Undersea Journal as part of a contract publishing agreement with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), the international recreational diver training, certification and membership organization.

    “This is really the next step in our globalization of the Sport Diver brand," says Dave Freygang, CEO of Bonnier Corporation. "This is a big moment for Sport Diver and Bonnier Corp., tapping into new markets and revenue."

    Bonnier Corporation will keep in place the editorial and advertising staff of the U.K. monthly magazine, who will be collaborating on future projects with staff from the U.S. edition.

    The acquisition also expands Bonnier’s relationship with PADI. Sport Diver is the official publication of the PADI Diving Society, the world’s largest diver-affinity community, whose mission is to inspire, entertain, inform and motivate divers to become and remain active members of the diving community.

    “Adding Sport Diver UK and strengthening our relationship with PADI allows the Sport Diver brand to fulfill its mission of welcoming and retaining people in the sport of scuba diving," says Freygang. "We will now address a worldwide diving community, with an increased emphasis on national and international diving, gear, news, conservation and events that are of importance to divers everywhere."

     


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    One of Sweden's super talents talks about her three months in the Bonnier Accelerator program.

    Heidi Harman (photo Henrik Westman)

    Entrepreneur Heidi Harman was recently named one of the top 101 super talents in 2013 in Sweden by business magazine Veckans Affärer

    “It was a real surprise and an honor to be nominated to the list, so many great people I admire have been on that list!" says Harman, who is one of the founders of Geek Girl Meetup and RunAlong.se.

    Harman has just completed three months with Bonnier Accelerator, which she was handpicked to participate in by an expert panel that chose from among an international group of applicants.

    Together with three other entrepreneurs, she’s been spending time developing a business idea, taking part in workshops, networking within Bonnier and talking with a mentor. As part of the program, she also received a monthly salary – “that really helped” – as well as office space.

    “We wouldn’t be where we are today without the program,” says Harman, who is working on a new app to empower people to save money  (the app can be found at DiscoverTreat.com). “We’ve been able to reach a new level, using our time to test our idea with user workshops, starting the process of building our software and creating a prototype.”

    Harman says that getting input from other people within Bonnier who have worked as entrepreneurs has been a real high point. “It’s been great to get reality-based information from people with strong experience with other startups, like Oscar Höglund from United Screens,” she says. “Plus having the other Bonnier Accelerator teams to talk to and hear how they are working with some of the same issues we are has been a real benefit.”

    You can follow what Heidi Harman is doing on her website as well as via Twitter.

     


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  • 12/10/13--06:27: Business Meets Fashion
  • Models take to the runway at Trendi's fashion awards in Slovenia.

    Watching the show at the Trendi Designer Awards (photo Aleš Beno/Finance

    At the end of November, Slovenian business daily Finance's lifestyle magazine Trendi made a splash with a new initiative: the Trendi Young Designer of the Year award. More than 200 people came to watch as the winners were announced at a fashion and design show in Ribnica at the industrial hall of Riko Hiše, a Slovenian manufacturer of wooden houses that works in cooperation with Philippe Starck.

    The prizes went to Anja Dragan  for best avant garde designer, Katja Magister for bestselling collection, Petja Zorec for best styling, and Dajana Ljubičić  won a special Trendi award for most sophisticated collection.

    “We got a few key sponsors for the fashion and art show, among them a company which produces socks as well as the Slovenian Philharmonic and Riko halls,” says Aleš Caks, editor for the magazine. “They all see a potential in the magazine, especially in connecting fashion with business.”

    The show was covered by two commercial TV stations as well as several fashion photographers. Along with the fashion designers, Trendi showed off the recent redesign of the magazine, which has gotten good reviews.

    “It was a great event and we hope to continue with this kind of success for the awards,” says Caks.

     


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  • 12/11/13--07:00: Young Readers in Focus.
  • Recent research shows that children's reading comprehension is getting worse. Eva Dahlin of Swedish children's book publisher Bonnier Carlsen talks good books for kids.

    Eva Dahlin

    Last week, the release of the tri-annual global PISA reports on math, reading and science skills of 15-year-olds brought bad news for many countries. Scores slipped, in some places significantly, throughout Europe and North America.

    "The PISA reports confirm the unfortunate decrease in reading comprehension that we've been seeing for a while," says Eva Dahlin, editorial director at Swedish children's and young adult book publisher Bonnier Carlsen. "It's clear that reading has become a question of democracy. Language is key: those who can express themselves succeed; and the key to language is books."

    To get children to read books, you need to provide stories that they themselves really want to read. "A book for every child" is Bonnier Carlsen's motto.

    "Our catalog consists of strong stories that children want to read, books that make an impression and have the power to turn a reluctant reader into an eager one," says Dahlin.

    And it's important not to forget to read aloud to the youngest children.

    "Swedish research shows that pre-schoolers of parents who read a lot have some 18,000 words in their vocabulary when they start school, compared to pre-schoolers of non-reading parents, who start school with only 9,000 words," says Dahlin. "Reading aloud to small children really makes a difference!"

    But even here, the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Stockholm children's museum Junibacken recently conducted a survey that found only 30 percent of parents read aloud to their children. Ten years ago, that number was 70 percent. This is a contributing factor to Swedish students' poor results in reading comprehension. The PISA report shows that nearly 25 percent of students cannot read when they graduate from the 9th grade.

    One reading promotion project that Bonnier Carlsen supports is En läsande klass - a reading class.

    "En läsande klass is a fantastic project, which provides teachers direction in a concrete way on how they can work with literature and reading comprehension in school," says Dahlin.

    En läsande klass was started by Swedish author Martin Widmark, one of the country's most read writers. His books on the Lasse and Maja Detective Agency regularly hit the top of bestseller lists, and Widmark's books are among the most checked out in libraries. He is also originally a middle school teacher.

    As an author, Widmark has made nearly a thousand visits to classrooms around Sweden in recent years. During his visits, he's noticed big differences between classrooms where time is set aside for reading and teachers work actively with reading comprehension compared with those that don't. Research shows that the same students who graduate from 9th grade with low grades had poor reading comprehension in fourth grade.

    En läsande klass is coming out now with a practical study plan for reading comprehension, written by five reading experts who work actively with reading strategies in their respective schools. The book will be distributed to all elementary and middle schools in Sweden during April 2014. It will be followed up with seminars, lectures and other activities. The book refers to a large number of practice texts as well as literary and non-fiction texts. The texts  are being provided free by various book publishers and their rights-holders and will be available in a digital format on the project's webpage.

     


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    Check out ten surefire tips for parents on how they can change their child from a reluctant reader to a lifelong lover of books! From Bonnier Carlsen's bestselling authors Helena Bross and Magnus Ljunggren.

    1. Kids do what adults do – so read yourself, it’s enjoyable!

    2. Establish pleasant read-aloud times when your kids are small. This helps children learn how fun and exciting the world of books is. And don’t stop reading aloud just because your kids have learned to read themselves!

    3. Once your kids can read: help them develop good reading habits. Reading requires concentration. Choose a quiet spot, sit with your child and help if she gets stuck. Children need lots of practice reading, just like they practice bicycling, swimming and everything else they learn to do.

    4. If it proves difficult for your child to read books by himself, try taking turns reading one page each. You’ll get through a book faster.

    5. Trigger the urge to find out more by starting a suspenseful book. Then let your child finish the book herself.

    6. Start up your own book group – of two! Read the same book separately then discuss what you’ve read together.

    7. Read the book, see the movie! Then talk about what was the same and what was different, what you liked and didn’t like.

    8. Go to the library together. Ask the librarians for book ideas, they know a lot.

    9.  Don’t forget that you can read with your ear: Audiobooks are wonderful to listen to!

    10. It’s okay with bribes once in a while. It’s important to keep up the reading during vacations. You can promise some kind of small reward for each book read.

     

     


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    TV4 and Unicef want to light up the midwinter darkness with thousands of candles in slow TV campaign to help kids. 

    Sweden's TV4 is a regular partner of international children's aid organization Unicef Sweden, sponsoring a range of donation drives and campaigns throughout the year.

    This holiday season, the network is sponsoring with something new: a slow TV campaign called #DinGåva - your gift - in which for every product bought at the Unicef shop, the channel lights a candle.

    The network is live broadcasting from the darkened studio for six days, 24 hours a day and you can watch online as candles are continually lit by celebrities as well as ordinary people at tv4.se/dingava.

    The broadcast started earlier this morning and the studio is already full of burning candles, which will continue to burn until midnight on Dec. 21.

    "The cooperation with Unicef has been a wonderful holiday tradition for us at the TV4 Group," says Åsa Jamal, communication director at TV4. "The slow TV broadcast is a new concept, and naturally we hope it will inspire viewers a bit more than usual with a physical symbol that shows a donation really has been made. And everyone can join and make a concrete contribution to better the lives of one or more children."

    All the products at the Unicef shop are real things, not just symbolic gifts. Unicef is a world leader in providing essential items that save and change children's lives. Unicef's warehouse in Copenhagen takes care of coordinating and delivering the gifts.

     


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  • 12/17/13--01:42: Proust in One e-Volume
  • Classics by Jane Austen, James Joyce, Franz Kafka - and Marcel Proust in one giant volume - available finally as e-books in Sweden.

    Proust as en e-book

    Book publisher Bonnierförlagen recently released a treasure trove of classics available for the first time as e-books in Swedish. Among the titles is Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, as six separate books or in one giant e-volume.

    "It's fantastic to re-release classics of this caliber, plus to guarantee that they'll always be available for readers," says Magnus Nytell of Bonnierförlagen Digital, which is behind the release. "Last year we digitalized a thousand Swedish titles. This year we've started a huge initiative with translated literature and these books are just the beginning."

    The first releases came out on December 16. The books are available via Adlibris and other e-book retailers in Sweden, as well as from Apple.

    The current release includes books from authors including Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, Emily Brontë, Jane Austen, Franz Kafka, George Eliot, James Joyce, Elizabeth Gaskell and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

     


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  • 12/18/13--02:06: SF Anytime to TV4 Play
  • TV4 Play broadens its offering with launch of new film on-demand service in cooperation with SF Anytime.

    SF Anytime to TV4 Play

    Today, Swedish programming-on-demand service TV4 Play launches Hyrbutiken - the rental store - with over 4,000 films from SF Anytime that can be hired via TV4 Play via computer, tablet or smart phone. SF Anytime's library of films includes the latest and most popular rental films, including the biggest Hollywood hits and smaller independent films and TV series.

    "Our addition to TV4 Play with the possiblity of easily renting the latest top movies means we can give our viewers a bigger range of choices and flexibility when it comes to watching TV and movies in ways that work best for them when they want to watch," says Cecilia Beck-Friis, executive vice president for business and technology development at the TV4 Group.

    TV4 Play's rental store is already open for business for desktop computer users. For i-Phone and i-Pad users, the store will be open shortly once approved by Apple, and Android users will be able to use it at the beginning of 2014.

    "Today, people want to watch movies on different platforms and we aim to meet consumers' expectations," says Jonas Dahllöf, CEO for SF Anytime. "With this cooperation, TV4 Play's customers get access to SF Anytime's large selection of films and an already strong offering becomes stranger. It's particularly exciting to launch in good time before Christmas, when Swedes watch a lot of movies."

     


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    New ways to reach customers with ads on the mobile Di.se.

    New ad formats on Di.se

    Earlier this week, Swedish business daily Dagens industri announced the launch of new ad formats for the mobile version of the paper, including  new slide, video, drop and stack versions. The first customer for the formats is Scandinavian Airlines.

    We talked with Dagens industri’s Jenny Mjörnell, sales manager for digital media, about the new ads and the thinking behind them.

    How should an ad look in order to catch people’s interest?
    We’ve used focus groups to find out what our visitors think about mobile ads on di.se. It’s difficult to say exactly how an ad should look in order to attract interest but generally it’s about being seen in the right environment by the right target group. When working with the design of the creative material, it's worth keeping in mind how long it will loop, since you have such a short time to get people’s attention.

    What about the advertisers?
    We often get requests from advertisers who want creative formats, but then we see they might not have landing pages that are made for viewing on a smart phone. So to make it work for them, we have mobile-adapted landing pages built into the format.

     


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  • 12/20/13--05:57: Simulations as Content
  • Bonnier Accelerator entrepreneur Jonas Forsslund talks about surgery simulation as content and building a market by going open-source.

    Jonas Forsslund (photo Rikard Westman)

    “It’s really just game-building technology for surgeons,” says Jonas Forsslund, describing the technical framework of the business he is developing, Surgify, which lets dentists and dentistry students practice specific surgical techniques using a simulator. But the simulations are anything but a game – they provide a very serious and practical way of learning surgery without having to do it on a live person. What’s different from other surgical simulations is that Forsslund is building the simulation using open-source software.

    “So far, the market is small for this kind of simulation, partially because the equipment is expensive,” he says. “But by building our simulations with an open-source base, we’re hoping to provide a foundation for others that will help create an ecosystem and open up the market. Going open source will really help lift all the boats. The advantage for us is that if we’re first, we’ll be the biggest boat.”

    It’s this kind of thinking that helped Forsslund get chosen to be part of Bonnier Accelerator, the program that provides three months of business development, training and networking time, along with office space, back office support and a mentor.

    Surgical simulation may sound far from what a media company does, but Forsslund looks at his simulations as a form of content, not unlike books, for example. The challenge is figuring out how to develop a business model to spread that content.

    “I really got a good insight into how the media industry works from the inside,” he says. “I met so many people and heard another perspective from outside the university."

     


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  • 01/10/14--03:19: Marginesy to Bonnier
  • Polish book publisher to become part of Bonnier.

    Bonnier Books New Markets has announced its first acquisition: a joint venture with Polish publishing house Marginesy.

    Marginesy, located in Warsaw, was founded in 2008 by Hanna Mirska-Grudzińska. Since its start, Marginesy has published a considerable number of bestsellers, by authors such as Jaume Cabré and biographies of Polish celebrities, which has enabled the publisher to grow rapidly. The former owners, Mirska-Grudzińska and Krzysztof Grudziński, will both stay in the company as shareholders as well as part of the management board.

    Bonnier Books New Markets was started last year in Germany with a focus on strategic acquisitions and development of new business areas within the book segment, primarily in Europe with the exception of the Nordic countries, where Bonnier already has a strong presence. 

    “We are very happy to have found such capable management with Krzysztof and Hanna as a starting point for our Polish business,” says Hartmut Jedicke, CEO of Bonnier Books International.

    “We are convinced that joining the strengths and capabilities of old owners and new shareholders will allow us to continue the dynamic development of the Marginesy publishing house,” says Krzysztof Grudziński, President of Marginesy. “At the same time, we believe that the mix of local experience with international publishing know-how will open new possibilities of growth to Marginesy.” 

    “With Marginesy, we ally not with the biggest, but definitely with one of the fastest growing and most successful Polish publishers,” says Joachim Kaufmann, Vice President of Bonnier Books New Markets. “Together with Krzysztof and Hanna we intend to build one of the most important publishing groups in Poland within the coming years.”

     


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  • 01/10/14--07:25: New CEO for Radio Nova
  • Former managing director for MTV Viihde and Subtv Tomi Halonen to take over Radio Nova.

    Tomi Halonen

    Tomi Halonen has been appointed the new managing director of Radio Nova, Finland's No. 1 commercial radio channel, owned by MTV. Halonen will be responsible for radio operations once current managing director Petri Manninen retires, and will also become a member of the MTV Executive Board.

    Halonen has wide experience in the media world, including previous stints within MTV, where he served as managing director of MTV Viihde as well for Subtv. Most recently he has been managing director for the consulting firm Estime. He will assume his new role at Radio Nova in February.

    "Traditional media, including radio, are undergoing changes, which is sure to keep my job particularly interesting," says Halonen. "I believe that radio, and Radio Nova especially, will continue to have success in the future. We'll have to work hard and not be too shy with our actions. Radio Nova is an essential and great part of a media company that I’m already familiar with, so I’m really looking forward to starting the new job."

     


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    As previously announced, Tomas Franzén will be taking the position of CEO for Bonnier AB later during the spring, once a replacement has been named for him at Com Hem.

    From January 31, when current CEO Jonas Bonnier leaves, until Franzén assumes his new role, Bonnier AB’s CFO Göran Öhrn will serve as acting CEO. 

     


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  • 01/22/14--08:41: Life Sort of Imitates Art
  • Mickan Schiller succeeds in becoming an author – for real.

    Aja Baja Vita Soffan

    Sweden’s top series from TV4, Solsidan, which hilariously parodies the perils of keeping up with the Joneses in upper-middle-class suburban Stockholm, has gone meta.

    Last season, character Mickan Schiller wondered how hard it could be to write a children’s book, but not surprisingly her attempts to get a book published by Bonnier failed. Luckily for fans, what didn’t come true onscreen has come true in real life with the release of Aja Baja Vita Soffan – published by none other than Bonnier Carlsen. The book, which roughly translates to Don’t Touch the White Sofa, is a picture book by “Mickan” that succinctly conveys her true talent in dealing with her own children, who tend to clash with her expensive white furniture.

    The book is the brainchild of the multi-talented Josephine Bornebusch, who plays the social-climbing and not terribly bright Mickan on the show. Bornebusch, who wrote the book herself, is also one of the writers for the show – the writer in fact who gave the character her, er, authorial aspirations. And it was Bornebusch who approached the publisher with the idea of doing the book.

    “I’m so proud of Mickan, who managed to write so many words. I would’ve never thought she could manage it,” says Bornebusch, tongue planted firmly in cheek. “It’s so great when two different worlds meet. When a TV character gets to write (more or less) a book about how to forbid children from messing up a house that doesn’t even exist, it adds that surreal something extra to make it particularly great, I think!”

    Unlike the misguided Mickan, Bornebusch’s own writing ambitions are considerably more serious, to say the least. Her first novel, for young adults, will be published later this year by Bonnier Carlsen.

    “To be able to release my first novel, in August, feels completely wild and not quite real yet,” she says. “I’ll believe it when I actually see it.”

     


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    Bonnier’s operating profit improved in 2013 compared with 2012 and EBITA was SEK 1,004 million (854). Net sales for 2013 amounted to SEK 26,688 million, a decline of 8.5 percent mainly attributable to divestments and structural changes. Bonnier’s earnings before tax increased to SEK 1,730 million (-217) mainly due to the merger between SF Bio and Finnkino.

    “In 2013 the focus was on improving profitability, which was achieved. As expected, we saw a sharp decline in print advertising. We are therefore pleased that our three print-intensive business areas – News Sweden, Magazines and Business to Business – are all having a strong year and together achieved an EBITA of SEK 662 million,” says Göran Öhrn, CFO and acting CEO of Bonnier AB.

    “On the broadcasting side, TV4 has had a very strong year, while we see significant challenges in the pay-TV business, especially outside Sweden. In Finland the weak economic trend and a shrinking advertising market continued to squeeze MTV’s results.”

    “In the spring SF Bio merged with Ratos-owned Finnkino. This transaction contributed to a further strengthening of Bonnier’s financial standing. Our financial standing, with available liquidity of SEK 8.2 billion, provides substantial maneuverability for the future,” says Göran Öhrn.

    Books Nordic increased sales, and EBITA improved to SEK 217 million (149), mainly attributable to the Swedish business. Earnings for Bonnier’s Finnish book operations improved slightly in a very challenging market.

    Books International’s sales fell, mainly due to a general decline in the German book market, and EBITA was SEK 185 million (214). The British book operations at Bonnier Publishing succeeded in both growing and improving profitability.

    Broadcasting’s sales fell, though EBITA improved to SEK 406 million (386). TV4 achieved outstanding earnings after strong advertising sales and continued development of the channel and rights portfolio. The C More pay TV business continued to face a challenging situation, especially in the markets outside Sweden. MTV in Finland implemented major cost-cutting measures during the year.

    Business to Business significantly increased sales through growth, especially in the Eastern European markets and EBITA was SEK 88 million (79). The Norwegian business, including Dagens Medisin and Norsk Helseinformatikk, showed strong profitability growth and Denmark's leading business newspaper Børsen equaled its record earnings from 2012.

    Growth Media includes digital media companies with a focus on global growth. Sales fell in 2013 and EBITA landed at SEK 23 million (230) as a result of the previously mentioned SF Bio deal, and a challenging year for the production and distribution company Svensk Filmindustri.

    Total sales for the other companies in the business area grew by 47 percent. Toca Boca continued its rapid growth and reached 60 million downloads, Mag+ doubled its sales and content agency Spoon demonstrated a strong profit growth.

    Magazines’ sales fell while EBITA substantially improved to SEK 323 million (151). The US business in Bonnier Corporation posted a profit in 2013, with a rising earnings curve each month during the second half of the year. The drop in sales in the business area is mainly due to divestments in the US business and the downturn in print advertising.

    News Sweden’s four daily newspapers had a strong performance in 2013 with improved total earnings despite the continued decline in the advertising market for print during the year. The operating margin for the newspapers, excluding restructuring costs, was strengthened and amounted to 10 percent. A loss in the printing business had a negative impact on total EBITA for this business area, which amounted to SEK 251 million (321) for 2013.

    Other includes Group-wide activities and functions. Impact on EBITA from these activities in 2013 was SEK -489 million (-676).

    Gearing (net debt in relation to equity) was 0.72 (1.17). The Group's available liquidity, in the form of cash and cash equivalents, as well as undrawn credit facilities, remains very strong and totaled SEK 8.2 billion (5.9) at the end of December 2013.

     

    Net Sales by business area SEK M 

    2013

    2012

    Books Nordic

    4,132

    4,096

    Books International

    2,123

    2,204

    Broadcasting

    7,990

    8,165

    Business to Business

    1,120

    1,040

    Growth Media

    3,251

    4,216

    Magazines

    4,343

    4,910

    News

    4,572

    4,735

    Other

    -843

    -190

    Bonnier AB total

    26,688

    29,176

     

     

    Operating profits (EBITA) by business area SEK M 

    2013

    2012

    Books Nordic

    217 

    149

    Books International

    185

    214

    Broadcasting

    406

    386

    Business to Business

    88

    79

    Growth Media

    23

    230

    Magazines

    323

    151

    News

    251

    321

    Other

    -489

    -676

    Bonnier AB total

    1,004

    854

     

     

    Earnings  SEK M 

    2013

    2012

    Net Sales 

    26,688 

    29,176 

    EBITA 

    1,004 

    854 

    EBIT

    1,989

    81

    Net financial items

    -259

    -298

    EBT 

    1,730 

    -217 

    EAT

    1,380

    -425

     

    Further information: 
    David Salsbäck, acting Director of Communications, +46 736 4047

    Note: This text is a translation of the Swedish original and in case of any discrepancies between the Swedish text and the English translation, the Swedish text prevails. 

     


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    Increased focus on special interest magazines.

    Aller Media is acquiring Bonnier Publications' Finnish lifestyle magazines, Costume, Divaani and Olivia. Bonnier Publications will after the transaction retain a major presence in the Finnish market, with seven market leading special-interest magazines. 

    “With the transaction we increase the focus on our well established and highly successful special interest magazines such as the Finnish editions of  Science Illustrated, I Form and National Geographic with a total reach of approximately 500,000 monthly readers in Finland”, says Niels Jespersen, Chairman of the Board of Bonnier Publications Finland.  

    The staff currently employed by the concerned publications will transfer to Aller Media as of 28 February 2014.

    “We were the first to introduce a number of innovations in the magazine market, such as concept tools and the inclusive use of co-creation tools. Our digital sales are on the increase and we are a step ahead within content marketing. However, the print market is, in the current situation, a small market for a small unit, no matter how creative we are. This solution will give our great brands an opportunity to grow,” says Marjaana Toiminen, CEO of Bonnier Publications Finland.

     


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    Information from Sydsvenskan’s Board of Directors.

    Lars Dahmén, Editor-in-Chief for southern Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, suffered a minor stroke this past Friday. He is currently recovering well. Managing Editor Pia Rehnquist will step in to take legal responsibility under Swedish press law for the paper and the board has named the newspaper’s Executive Vice President Anette Östergren as acting CEO until Lars Dahmén is ready to return.

    Gunilla Herlitz
    Chair of the Board of Directors for
    Sydsvenskan

     


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  • 02/19/14--07:18: Expanding Icon's Eye
  • Swedish lifestyle title Icon Magazine is pushing boundaries with a new venture: Icon Brands. 

    Icon editors-in-chief Joel Persson and Peter Smirnakos

    We talked withIcon Magazine Editor-in-Chief Peter Smirnakos about the magazine’s foray into contract publishing – they’ve already worked with Volkswagen and Interflora - and their future plans.

    Why did you start Icon Brands?
    Icon Brands is a natural extension of our work and a way of meeting demand that we find from customers. It’s a trend that’s become very common outside of Sweden and has been a part of Icon Magazine’s strategy from the early stages. We are doing work for one of Sweden's biggest companies that has proven to us that we’ve been thinking right, and it made us decide that it was time to formulate what we offer in a more concrete fashion.

    What will Icon Brands provide?
    We stand on four legs: custom publishing, strategy & analysis, design and trend-spotting & speaking. We will focus on the premium segment and primarily look to customers who like Icon Magazine’s way of telling stories, where we focus on people and go in-depth on a topic. Icon Brands does communications and contract publishing. Icon Magazine does independent journalism.

    What are your expectations?
    We know that the interest in this kind of service is there and on the rise. To create the right content for the right person is becoming ever more important for companies. And it’s there that we feel we can offer our unique editorial eye and network. It will also be interesting to work more tightly with Bonnier Tidskrifter’s analysis department to help companies with brand positioning and strategy.

    Read more about Icon Brands at  www.iconmagazine.se/iconbrands.

     


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  • 02/20/14--03:32: Spotlight on Bamba.se
  • From Toys to Baby Buggies, Bamba.se provides a complement to fellow online retailers Adlibris and Discshop.

    Bamba.se

    For online toyshop Bamba.se, the strong focus on personal customer service and satisfaction is what differentiates the company from its competitors. “The proof is that three years in a row we’ve won the title e-retailer of the year for children and families by Swedish shopping comparison site Pricerunner!” says Anders Danielson, CEO for the company.

    “Along with customer service, what we offer is vitally important. There should never be any problem shopping at Bamba.se, we have free shipping, no extra charges and fast delivery, since our entire selection is in our warehouse.”

    Bamba.se launched in 2010 and in 2013 was acquired by Bonnier, where it is a part of a group of online retailers that includes Adlibris and Discshop. “There are a lot of synergies between the three companies, and we’ve started a number of projects together,” says Danielson. “And being part of a media company, there’s huge potential for media and marketing opportunities so we hope to see more of that within Bonnier and to be able to start new cooperations in the future.”

    For now, the company is working hard to bring in even more relevant shoppers to the site. And it is branching out. “We’re increasing our selection and going into the children’s and baby segment with car seats, baby accessories, strollers and children’s clothes. We’ve already started but we’ll go full scale during 2014-2015.”

    The company will also be moving later this year as it expands, with offices next to its fellow online retailers Adlibris and Discshop, which will also help with synergies. Says Danielson: “After that comes Christmas shopping season, and then it’s full speed ahead!”

     


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  • 02/21/14--05:35: Bonnier Award in Estonia
  • Eesti Ekspress journalists Dannar Leetmaa and Margus Järv win Estonia's most prestigious press prize.

    Koit Brinkmann, Dannar Leitmaa, Hans-Jakob Bonnier and Margus Järv immediately following the ceremony

    Yesterday at a ceremony in Tallinn at the Swedish Embassy, the annual Bonnier Award for investigative journalism was awarded to Dannar Leetmaa and Margus Järv of Eesti Ekspress for their story on corruption in the internal board relections of the ruling Reform Party - following the story, vice chairman of the board Kriistina Ojuland was forced out.

    The two beat out finalists from Äripäev and Eesti Päevaleht. Koit Brinkmann of Äripäev was nominated for his investigation into Tallinn Mayor Edgar Savisaar's secret Swiss bank account. Kärt Anvelt of Eesti Päevaleht was nominated for a long investigation that resulted in sports physician Vitali Bernatski confessing to selling performance-enhancing drugs to athletes, and ultimately the formation of a special commission to look into the issue of doping.

     


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