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New Zealand Herald to launch Herald on Sunday

The New Zealand Herald to launch Herald on Sunday

AUCKLAND, July 30, 2004 – APN News & Media Limited [ASX,NZX:APN] today announced that The New Zealand Herald will launch a Sunday edition, offering readers the chance to read the newspaper seven days a week.

APN Chief Executive Brendan Hopkins said the company had researched the market for more than a year and was confident readers and advertisers would support The Herald on Sunday.

“The Herald has a very strong position in New Zealand and it is appropriate to expand its proud 140-year franchise of delivering news, information and advertising to New Zealanders,” Mr Hopkins said.

Compared with similar countries, New Zealand’s Sunday newspaper market is under-developed. For example, Sunday newspaper readership in New Zealand is half that of Australia.

“While 6 out of 10 Aucklanders read a Saturday newspaper only 3 out of 10 read a Sunday title. This means that half of the people who read the Herald on Saturday do not read a Sunday newspaper. We believe this represents a significant gap in the market,” Mr Hopkins said.

The Herald is New Zealand’s largest circulating daily newspaper and The Herald on Sunday will take advantage of existing subscription, distribution and home delivery capabilities, as well as have access to the country’s most advanced newspaper printing facility. The Sunday edition will be principally available in the greater Auckland area.

From a commercial perspective, an important factor in the decision to extend the Herald franchise is the rise in Sunday shopping. The number of people shopping on Sunday grew 46 per cent from 1999 to 2003, providing significant opportunities for advertisers in the new publication.

The launch of The Herald on Sunday will provide employment opportunities for journalists, advertising staff and other areas of newspaper production and distribution. Key appointments already made include Publisher, Advertising Director, Editor, Deputy Editor, Political Editor, Sports Editor and Marketing Manager.

Mr Hopkins said details of the new newspaper were well advanced and an announcement regarding the launch date, format and content will follow in due course.

Cost-sharing opportunities with the daily publication underpin the business case for the Sunday edition and encouraged by recent positive trading trends, the company remains confident of achieving its previously stated forecast net profit after tax for 2004 of $A120 million, after the launch costs of the new title.

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