Italian publisher sees record profits

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Despite an overall trend toward declining newspaper readership in Italy, at least one of the country's leading publishers is enjoying booming sales and record profits.

Poligrafici Editoriale, the publisher of several of Italy's leading regional newspapers, says it expects profits to triple this year following a nearly 20% rise in circulation in the last 12 months.

The company says revenue will be boosted by a 13% increase in the newsstand price of its publications, and a switch to a tabloid format in March. The change in format, says company Chairman Andrea Riffeser Monti, will nearly double the amount of ad space available.

Though the company predicted the increased newsstand price will cut into circulation by around 2%, it also said increased revenue will moe than compensate for that loss.

"We are developing a model that will help maximize profits and make the newspapers more enjoyable for our readers," Mr. Riffeser Monti says.

The company attributes its success to focusing more on local issues than on international and national stories. Additionally, the company says, sharing resources with other newspapers in the Poligrafici Editoriale family helps keep costs down.

Poligrafici Editoriale owns five of Italy's 10 leading regional newspapers, including the two largest: Milan's Il Giorno and Florence's La Nazione.

The company, which is not publicly traded and is not required to releases financial information, declined to provide exact figures on its ad revenue.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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