Alma over ad slump

Company posts profits of $2.6 mil

AMSTERDAM — Alma Media, Finland’s second largest media group and owner of the territory’s largest commercial broadcaster MTV3, posted a small 2% rise in net sales to €486 million ($524 million).

Company swung to a profit of $2.6 million last year from a loss of $26 million in 2001.

Broadcasting’s net sales increased 5.9% to $186 million, most of it from MTV3 ad sales, which grew by 5.8% last year.

Results are good news for Sweden’s privately owned Bonnier Group, the largest commercial TV investor in the Nordic territories. Bonnier last year posted a loss of $34.7 million, with some $9.8 million of that coming from its TV investments, primarily a 33% stake in Alma Media and a 17% direct stake in TV4 Sweden.

Alma and TV4 were severely affected by the slump in TV ad spend.