PostNord to take over Swedish regional newspaper distributor

Scandinavian postal operator PostNord has signed a deal to takeover the operations of a major regional newspaper distribution company in Sweden. Svensk Morgondistribution, which is currently owned by two big regional publishing companies in Sweden, MittMedia and Västerbottens-Kuriren, will transfer activities to PostNord’s periodicals distribution subsidiary Tidningstjänst AB (TAB).

The deal will see the PostNord unit providing deliveries for “several years” for around 100m morning newspapers a day, including some of the biggest regional titles in the country such as Sundsvalls Tidning, Dalarnas Tidningar, Gefle Dagblad, Östersunds-Posten and Västerbottens-Kuriren.

Last year, Svensk Morgondistribution’s 740 employees generated net sales of about SEK 350m ($51.8m USD).

The agreement remains subject to approval by regulators.

Vehicle utilisation

PostNord said taking over the operations of the newspaper distributors was part of its strategy to develop profitable new businesses supporting its mail business and increasing the use of its existing vehicle fleet.

Lars Idermark, the PostNord president and chief executive, said: “The morning newspaper distribution industry includes significant economies of scale. By growing in this market, we can use the same vehicles to distribute morning papers during nighttime hours as we use for mail delivery during the day – resulting in major synergies.”

Publishing company MittMedia, which has a 75% stake in Svensk Morgondistribution, said outsourcing its activities was about reducing costs while ensuring high levels of service quality in delivering its 17 daily papers.

Thomas Peterssohn, president and CEO of the Gävle-based publisher, said: “As a media company, we will be able to increase our focus on our main task; developing the business and journalism of the future.”

“As a media company, we will be able to increase our focus on our main task”

Västerbottens-Kuriren, one of the three largest regional newspapers in northern Sweden, was also seeing the deal with PostNord as enabling it to focus on its core business.

Sture Bergman, president and CEO of the Umeå-based firm, said: “Our newspaper distribution will be run by a group that is focused on distribution and logistics, producing an immediate cost reduction and enabling us to increase our focus on our core business – local journalism and commercial communications.”

Geographical expansion

As well as increasing volumes, PostNord said taking over the operations of Svensk Morgondistribution was also set to expand the operational area for its TAB unit.

TAB was originally founded in 1969 and currently operates within three main parts of Sweden – Norrbotten and northern Västerbotten in the far north; Värmland, northern Dalsland, Skaraborg and Enköping in the west of central Sweden; and Motala and Vimmerby in east-central Sweden.

TAB currently delivers around 350,000 early morning periodicals.

Svensk Morgondistribution, meanwhile, operates in the region stretching from north-central Sweden up to TAB’s existing northern operational – in Dalarna, Gästrikland, Hälsingland, Jämtland/Härjedalen, Västernorrland and large parts of Västerbotten.

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