On 4 September 2003 Orkla Press, a subsidiary in the Orkla Media group and responsible for the groups newspaper operations in Central- and Eastern Europe, located in Oslo, entered into an agreement with the Polish newspaper group Polskapresse, owned by Verlagsgruppe Passau, located in Passau, whereby it sold its operations in the Lower Silisia region, Poland, including the newspapers Slowo Polskie and Wieczor Wroclawia.
The parties have decided not to disclose the price and terms of the transaction.
At present Polskapresse possesses the No. 2 position in the Lower Silesia newspaper market by its daily Gazeta Wroclawska, while the national daily Gazeta Wyborcza has the No. 1 position.
The trend in the copy sales of the daily newspapers in the Lower Silesia market has shown a falling tendency the latest years together with a fierce competition among 5-6 rival dailies and several weeklies and free sheets. In addition a declining advertising market contributes to a weak and suffering profitability among most of the newspapers in the region.
The need for restructurisation and cost rationalisation in the Lower Silesia newspaper market is obvious and necessary and the said transaction should be considered in this context and perspective.
Orkla Press has been present in the Polish newspaper market since 1990 and has no plans to reduce its engagement in Poland. The Orkla Press group will continue its efforts to strengthen its positions in other regional markets in Poland. Orkla Press will also continue to invest in the area of print media as well as other related media in Poland.
Information about the transaction can be obtained in Poland from Mr. Jan Kopka, Managing Director in Orkla Press Polska Sp. z o.o. (+48 22 874 5120) and in Norway from Mr. Terje Bertheussen, Managing Director in Orkla Press AS ( +47 22 54 4300).