Ringier Romania, the local division of the Swiss media company Ringier AG, posted a turnover of RON 124.3 million for 2009, 27.6 percent less than in 2008, and a loss of RON 57.6 million, company representatives announced during the annual Ringier press conference in Romania last week. The loss was caused mainly by a 70 percent drop in the advertising market and competitive pressure from other media players such as Adevarul Holding.
Ringier AG registered a turnover of approximately EUR 900 million (CHF 1.3 billion) last year, 15.6 percent less than the previous year, with Romania making up only 2.7 percent of the company’s worldwide sales. In fact, Ringier Romania was the group’s worst performing division, registering the highest losses and being mostly responsible for the 20.5 percent drop in the Central Europe region, CEO Christian Unger told media representatives.
In 2009 the Swiss firm implemented a restructuring strategy, imposing a stringent cost-cutting program. As a consequence, the free newspaper Compact and magazine Diva were closed and the Evenimentul Zilei and Capital newspapers were sold to Romanian businessman Bobby Paunescu in February this year. The two newspapers were taken over by the newly established company, Editura Evenimentul & Capital, with Paunescu as major shareholder, but continue to use Ringier’s publishing structure.
Ringier Romania currently publishes the tabloid Libertatea and other magazines such as Unica, Lumea Femeilor, Bolero and TvMania. Company representatives said at the press conference that the publisher does not intend to sell its business in Romania and plans to increase the importance of its online business.Ringier AG is finalizing a joint venture with Axel Springer covering their operations in five Eastern European states, not yet including Romania. The latter owns a minor package in Edipresse AS Romania.
Axel Springer will take part in this joint venture with its subsidiaries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, while Ringier will contribute with its businesses in Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.