Aftonbladet, Innehåll, Månad för månad, Verksamheten, VD-kommentar,
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Aftonbladet is the largest newspaper in Sweden and Scandinavia, with an average 1996 circulation of 381,200 on weekdays and 484,400 on Sundays.

Founded in 1830 by Lars Johan Hierta, a liberal champion of freedom of the press, Aftonbladet is Sweden's oldest newspaper. Today it is 50.1 percent owned by the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (lo) and 49.9 percent by the Norwegian media group Schibsted asa. LO's remaining 50.1 percent holding consists of preference shares with a fixed yield. Thorbjörn Larsson is Editor in Chief, responsible editor under Swedish press law and Executive Vice President. Gunnar Strömblad is President and CEO.

1996 ­ a historic year for Aftonbladet
Aftonbladet made Swedish press history on October 17, 1996. That was when independent September circulation gures were published, showing that the newspaper had edged past its main competitor, Expressen, which had been Sweden's largest newspaper since 1952. In the late 1960s, the gap between these two evening tabloids was 75,000 copies per publica
tion day and in 1990 it was 200,000 copies per day. In January 1997 ­ for the first consecutive month ­ Aftonbladet retained its firstplace position with a circulation lead of 79,000 copies per publication day.

This increase occurred in a shrinking market. In 1996, the Swedish evening newspaper market diminished by 3 percent. Meanwhile, Aftonbladet grew by 18,400 copies to 395,800 copies per publication day. During 1997, Aftonbladet will accord top priority to the task of consolidating its position as Sweden's largest newspaper. The news-
paper's advertising department broke another record by selling more than ever before: its 1996 revenues reached 241 million Swedish kronor (sek 241 m). Intensive marketing efforts have enabled Aftonbladet to boost its share of the country's evening newspaper market from 39,5 percent to 43 percent.

Another historic day was May 2, 1996, when Aftonbladet ­ which had been owned by lo since 1956 ­ began to be included in the accounts of the Schibsted Group. Schibsted has at least the same financial strength and media expertise as competing media groups, and LO remains as a part-owner and guarantor of continuity. When the ownership change took place, Thorbjörn Larsson, Editor in Chief and Executive Vice President, was also appointed responsible editor under Swedish press law.

Intensive product development
work raises sales

Aftonbladet has started a number of successful supplements during the 1990s. The Sunday supplement Söndagstidningen and the women's supplement Aftonbladet/kvinna are two examples. During 1996 the newpaper launched a new sports supplement in the capital of Stockholm, as well as a new entertainment supplement and a health supplement.

Aftonbladet also Sweden's biggest
Internet newspaper

In 1994 Aftonbladet became the first Swedish newspaper to appear on the Internet. During 1996 its Internet service was expanded into a complete news service, read by Swedes worldwide and augmented by interactive commercial services.

The number of web page visitors rose throughout 1996. The January 1997 figure was 833,239.

During 1996 the newspaper's Net edition received a number of prestigious Swedish and Scandinavian awards for best home page and best web content.

Aftonbladet's Internet venture began as a pilot project, but over a three-year period it has evolved into an important strategic venture. Its 1997 revenue prospects are good.

Sustained profitability
Aftonbladet states its mission as follows: "To publish a mass-distributed newspaper with sustained protability." This newspaper has now shown prots for five consecutive years, after a number of years of losses.

In 1996 the newspaper reported an income of more than sek 63 m after financial items, compared to sek 58.6 m in 1995. For the Aftonbladet Group, income after financial items reached sek 43.0 m, up from sek 36.1 m. The Group's operating revenues exceeded sek 1,300 m.

Focusing on the Group's core operation ­ newspaper publishing ­ has paid off. This strategy will remain in place.

Aftonbladet, Innehåll, Månad för månad, Verksamheten, VD-kommentar,
Ledningsgruppen, Styrelsen, Ett dygn, årsredovisning, Sammandrag, English Summary, E-mail