From the CEO

During 2017, Bonnier has continued through journalism, storytelling and knowledge-sharing to make the communities in the countries we work in more open, more interesting and more entertaining.

Our times call for professional journalism, trustworthy voices, shining a light on those in positions of power within the public as well as private spheres, and a diversity of perspectives and opinions. Our times also call for storytelling and entertainment that contribute to bringing people and societies together. During 2017, we’ve made important contributions to society in all of these areas.

Through investigative reporting and in-depth journalism, such as news daily Dagens Nyheter’s uncovering a serious data breach at the Swedish Department of Transportation; and Expressen war correspondent Magda Gad’s unique and award-winning coverage from Raqqa and Mosul.

Through the more than 100 million books sold and initiatives encouraging children to read.

Through bringing together audiences of millions for our own formats, productions and stories, we create important common cultural reference points.

Through our knowledge-based services – in schools such as with Nordic learning portal Clio Online  and in health with Bonnier Health, medical journal Medicine Today and fertility app Natural Cycles – all of which contribute to important areas of our communities.

In this annual review, you’ll find a varied selection of stories about our different businesses that provide a positive social contribution. I’m proud to be the leader of companies that really make a difference.

It has also been a tough year, without a doubt (more on the financial results here). Which is true regardless of whether you measure in terms of finances or the intensity of work. In a market undergoing radical changes, we need to be simultaneously innovative and cost-effective if we want to ensure our future as a powerful media group over the long term. We need to be very careful with our finances and work more efficiently in our traditional businesses in order to free up the resources needed to invest in new technology, new competences and new services. This makes huge demands on those of us working at Bonnier.

We will continue to focus on our transformation of revenues from traditional to digital sources, and on ensuring we are doing the right things for the long-term success of Bonnier. Does this mean that profitability in the short-term is unimportant? On the contrary, profitability is necessary in order to hold to our strategic direction over the long haul.

During 2017, a number of pieces have fallen into place that make me very hopeful that during 2018 we can take more steps in the right direction, including in terms of finances. One important puzzle piece is that our news and business dailies in Sweden continue to prove that customers are willing to pay for high-quality journalism in a digital format, with a total of 200,000 purely digital subscribers. Another sign is that both Swedish news daily Expressen and TV network TV4 have grown both in terms of reach and advertising revenues. 

We can see that where we are successful, there are a number of parameters in place: A better understanding of our customers’ needs; the ability with the right technology and specific competences to introduce new content and services that meet user’s needs; and having a culture and leadership that take advantage of opportunities to collaborate within companies and even over company boundaries. We have a lot left to do, but also a number of good examples and successes to learn from.

During fall 2017, public debate as well as workplace discussions were dominated by the revolutionary power of #metoo. For those of us working in media, it’s had double significance as our organizations have been affected directly, while at the same time media has played a central role in publicizing #metoo.

I’m convinced that there is a before and an after #metoo. Workplace environment issues have seldom been on the agenda for Swedish corporate leaders, including for Bonnier. This has changed, and the change is permanent.

Within Bonnier, we can rightfully be proud of the contribution to society that our companies and products provide. We make tough demands on others through our journalism. Naturally, we need to make equally as tough demands on ourselves.

Tomas Franzén