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Ringier Annual Report 2006 Ringier AG

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Phublished by: Ringier AG, Corporate Communications, Zurich Project Management: Myrta Bugini Curator: Beatrix Ruf Artist and visual concept: Richard Phillips, New York Layout: Alisa Baremboym, Sibylle C. Bösch, Schlumpf & Partner AG, Zurich Translators: Susan Haynes and John Gonser, Creissan, France Proof readers: Co-Text GmbH, Zurich Lithography: Ringier AG Specter, Zurich Printing: Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG, Rotkreuz Bookbinders: Burkhardt AG, Mönchaltorf Text section: 170 gm2 white, OffZETT W CopyZETT W, no added brightener, FSC-certified in part. SQS-COC-24310/23900 mix credit, non-chlorine bleached pulp. Art section: 170 gm2 natural white, Satimat Naturel semimatte, coated on both sides, non-chlorine bleached, made from non-wood pulp. The Ringier Annual Report is available in English, German and French. Additional copies are available from: Ringier AG Corporate Communications Dufourstrasse 23 CH-8008 Zurich Phone +41 44 259 64 00 Fax +41 44 259 86 35 info@ringier.ch www.ringier.ch Zurich, march 2007


Contents Prologue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The year at Ringier . . . . . . . . Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Profit and loss account . . . . . . Ringier Switzerland . . . . . . . . Ringier Germany . . . . . . . . . . Ringier Czech Republic . . . . . . Ringier Hungary . . . . . . . . . . Ringier Romania . . . . . . . . . . Ringier Slovakia . . . . . . . . . . Ringier Serbia, Ringier Ukraine . Ringier Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . Print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Participations . . . . . . . . . . . Human Resources . . . . . . . . . Corporate Communications . . . . Social and environmental culture Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . Publications and circulations . . Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Milestones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Epilogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Art Section . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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. 4 . 5 . 6 . 9 . 9 . 15 . 16 . 17 . 18 . 19 . 20 . 22 . 24 . 26 . 28 . 30 . 30 . 31 . 32 . 34 . 36 . 38 . I –XX

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Prologue By Michael Ringier, Publisher What you are reading right now is a small anniversary volume – it is our tenth artistdesigned annual report. The seemingly harmless booklet is really something – none of the previous artists challenged us quite as much as did Richard Phillips. Quite deliberately, I might add. A typeface that evokes Nazi Germany and the horror it has come to symbolize for an entire generation, the “Fuck you” in one of the pictures and depictions of naked women – none of these are likely to have been part of any other annual report. But Phillips did more than provoke us – the intellectual challenge he has hurled at us quickly became a hot topic of discussion at Ringier. As a publishing house we ask ourselves every day what is or is not suitable for publication. Publishers, journalists and artists know there are no simple answers, there is no absolute truth. We must weigh the pros and cons, take special sensibilities and personal viewpoints into account as we decide what’s permissible, in which media, in which geographic location. For instance, we chose not to reproduce a painting showing a swastika – with the artist’s agreement, let it be said. The swastika is emblematic of the evil that has brought great suffering to millions, particularly in the many countries of Central Europe where Ringier media account for a big part of the media landscape. We decided to forego showing that painting in deference to our employees and business partners in these countries. There will be other opportunities to view it, such as a forthcoming gallery show in Los Angeles or later, perhaps, in a museum. But not in our annual report. Just as difficult was the decision as to whether to reproduce paintings of female nudes. Again, there is no clear answer. But because the artist alludes to sociologically relevant events, we believe showing such paintings is justified, particularly in the annual report of a publisher of seven tabloids which feature similar images every day of the week. Our goal here is intellectual honesty, rather than sensationalism or provocation. To some extent annual reports are always self-portraits. Traditionally this is understood to mean copy that favors the sunny side of corporate life and numbers that allow measuring and comparing the year’s activities. Positive annual results are a top priority – in our highly competitive media market there is no room for art for art’s sake. However, numbers say little about the many aspects of everyday business which can be much more exciting, demanding and challenging than mere facts and figures. That is why, for the past ten years, we have left it to an artist to tell the story of who we really are. The result is stunning: While no two annual reports are alike, they have one thing in common. Without exception, they gave rise to much reflection and heated discussion because they look at our business and what we do and why from the outside. The other thing the artist makes clear is that a business is more than mere numbers. Ringier’s numbers are respectable – good reason to express my heartfelt gratitude to every one of our employees and business partners at this time. Our annual result also shows how well we succeeded in adding value in good economic times. Never before in Ringier’s 174-year history did we invest in so many new products. In fact, these investments, charged as they are against the annual result, nearly match our net profit figure. How successful our strategy will be in the coming years is as difficult to gauge as the reactions to the design of this annual report. Both are about taking risk. We want to be open to new ideas, we want to grow in the face of uncertainty, we want to consider content with

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wisdom, knowing there are no simple answers. We are operating in a demanding field at a time of great change and socio-economic upheaval. To their credit, the artists have opened our eyes to this fact again and again.

2006 at Ringier Martin Werfeli, CEO Ringier AG The new year wasn’t even in its sixth day when Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA (IRL) joined Swiss Printers AG, the SF 1 TV show “Genial daneben” was launched and a new on-the-town magazine named “Ex” saw the light of day in the Czech Republic. All this activity in early January set the tone for what turned out to be a very busy year. From May to September we launched no less than five dailies, in Switzerland, Romania, Serbia and our first in Ukraine. Except for the one published in Ukraine, they were all free newspapers. We resisted that phenomenon for a long time, perhaps too long. With few exceptions free newspapers have achieved a worldwide breakthrough and we fully intend to play our part. Distribution in Ukraine may have run into problems but our other titles are meeting all our expectations. Setting strong accents in our Swiss home market last year were newly launched titles “heute”, “SI Style” and “CASHdaily”. Switzerland’s only evening newspaper “heute” has already staked out a respectable readership and we expect circulation to reach 200 000 by the end of June 2007. “CASHdaily” and its unique multimedia platform are breaking new trails for the future of newspapers and magazines everywhere. Following on the heels of “Betty Bossi” and “Gesundheit Sprechstunde”, it is the third Ringier mixed-media platform. We strongly believe that the future of our publications lies in intelligently combining, under a strong brand and with strong content, multiple distribution channels such as print, television, radio, internet, mobile end-user devices and events. This means we will launch fewer new titles in 2007, instead expanding in our present direction of media combines. The great challenges facing our industry today leave us no other choice in what is an escalating battle for public attention and advertising spend that pits the internet against newspapers, magazines and television. Then there are the new, financially strong competitors in telecommunications and on the internet itself, which provide more and more content of their own. And if that weren’t enough, successful community platforms such as youtube.com and myspace.com, where a growing number of young people create their own content, are also on the rise. We at Ringier fully intend to be successful in the fast-growing world of the digital media. We’ve made it one of our new strategy’s five pillars, next to innovation, building and expanding digital media channels, using synergies, employee training and advancement, and efficient financial management. If our strategy succeeds I have no doubt we will be strong players in the media landscape for years to come.

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Results The Swiss GAAP FER accounting principles apply as they have in previous years. Consolidated in these accounts are all domestic and foreign companies of which Ringier owns more than 50 percent, directly or indirectly. Fifty-percent holdings are quota-consolidated. Period results of significant minority holdings are recorded proportionately. Results of publishing activities in Vietnam are not included. Thanks to rapid growth in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Asia, 2006 Group turnover increased sharply, by CHF 81.2 million or 6.5 percent. The increase includes the initial consolidation of IRL, which was integrated in the Swissprinters Group in July; not counting this consolidation, turnover was up CHF 53.4 million, or 4.3 percent. Thanks to higher domestic demand, Switzerland’s print media advertising spend was far above the previous year’s figure. In turn, advertising sales of Ringier titles in Switzerland rose eight percent – in part due to new product launches. Even though capacity utilization was good, Switzerland’s printing industry suffered the effects of pricing pressure on foreign and domestic sales and failed to equal the previous year’s turnover. Gains in market share of existing products and many new product launches helped sales in Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia to again grow substantially. Expenditures rose by CHF 79.9 million, or 7.2 percent. The main reasons were the launch of five new dailies and a dozen or so new magazines, and the integration of IRL in the Swissprinters Group. After-tax profit grew an insignificant 1.0 percent, to CHF 67.8 million. CHF 144.5 million in cash flow barely rose above the previous year’s figure. The 5.1 percent profit margin was below the previous year’s 5.3 percent and the cash flow rate, at 10.8 percent, was also slightly lower than in 2005. Investments of CHF 88.7 million slightly exceeded the previous year’s CHF 86.0 million. The biggest single investment went into modernizing and replacing equipment at our Ostrava newspaper printing plant to ready it for the production of a part of our Czech newspaper portfolio. All investments, totaling about three times the previous year’s amount, were self-financed. As was the case in previous years, investments in new products or markets totaling about three times the previous year's amount, are not carried as assets. Instead, they were charged directly against profit and loss.

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Ringier in figures Key figures million CHF 2006

million EUR 2006

million CHF 2005

Change in Percent

Sales volume, Publishing Switzerland 569.7 Sales volume, Central and Eastern Europe 430.0 Sales volume, Asia 62.2 Sales volume, Print Switzerland 275.6 Total 1337.5

362.9 273.9 39.6 175.5 851.9

556.0 373.9 53.4 273.0 1256.3

+2.5 +15.0 +16.5 +1.0 +6.5

92.0

+0.9

56.5

143.2 11,4 67.1 5,3 86.0

2006

2005

Change in Percent

6887

6441

+6.9

Cash flow – in % of sales volume Annual profit after taxes – in % of sales volume Investments

144.5 10.8 67.8 5.1 88.7

43.2

Employees

+1.0 +3.1

Cash flow Total in million CHF

144.5

143.2

67.8

Profit after taxes

67.1

76.7

Depreciation 2006

130.6

55.6

76.1 2005

75.0 2004

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Sales shares by regions Asia 4.7 %

Central and Eastern Europe 32.1 %

Switzerland 63.2 %

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Profit and loss account Income

Mio. CHF 2006

Mio. Euro 2006

Mio. CHF 2005

Change in Percent

Total income Magazines, Newspapers Commercial printing Electronic media Betty Bossi Various

1337.5 864.4 316.6 43.7 46.8 66.0

851.9 550.6 201.7 27.8 29.8 42.0

1256.3 802.9 312.5 44.5 42.7 53.7

+6.5 +7.7 +1.3 –1.8 +9.6 +22.9

Expenditure Personnel Salaries Social security benefits Various personnel costs

414.4 344.3 50.5 19.6

264.0 219.3 32.2 12.5

395.7 338.4 44.5 12.8

+4.7 +1.7 +13.5 +53.1

Materials and outside services Printing Stock Ink Other materials Outside services Various market expenditures

376.0 179.3 19.4 34.8 135.8 6.7

239.5 114.2 12.4 22.2 86.5 4.2

355.4 172.5 18.8 25.2 132.3 6.6

+5.8 +3.9 +3.2 +38.1 +2.6 +1.5

Editorial offices, publishing, transportation and advertising Fees to editors Transportation Advertising Various publishing

296.3

188.7

255.8

+15.8

58.8 96.5 113.3 27.7

37.4 61.5 72.2 17.6

51.6 84.0 100.6 19.6

+14.0 +14.9 +12.6 +41.3

General expenditure Rental fees, energy, repairs, maintenance General administration, various

106.3 53.6 52.7

67.7 34.1 33.6

106.2 48.3 57.9

+0.1 +11.0 – 9.0

1193.0 144.5 76.7 67.8

759.9 92.0 48.8 43.2

1113.1 143.2 76.1 67.1

+7.2 +0.9 +0.8 +1.0

Total expenditure Cash flow Depreciation Profit after taxes

Ringier Switzerland 2006 was a brilliant year for the Swiss economy, with growth of around three percent at its highest since 2000. The pleasing performance of the European economic area and a weakening Swiss franc vis-à-vis the euro jacked up demand and filled our exporters’ order books. Economic growth also took pressure off the labor market while consumer sentiment, reacting to the favorable economic climate, continued to improve, with private consumption up some two percent year on year.

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Together, these factors generated a record flood of advertising. According to Media Focus, the 8.5 percent growth in traditional advertising beat even the record set in 2000. Gaining market share for the first time in over ten years, dailies grew almost 15 percent. Internet advertising, at 44 percent, expanded at an even more impressive rate. No wonder that in the prevailing economic climate, Ringier titles grew about six percent overall, with all titles maintaining their readership positions. New products put their stamp on 2006: Our Magazines division’s “SI Style” established itself as a highly successful monthly celebrity and fashion magazine. “heute”, Ringier’s first free publication, was launched on the Swiss market in May as an evening newspaper. Multimedia business platform “CASHdaily” launched a free daily newspaper bearing the same name. Ringier TV has produced the “Genial daneben” program for SF 1 since the beginning of 2006, and began broadcasting football and hockey games live on behalf of Bluewin TV and TELECLUB in late summer. The acquisition of television magazines “tiptopTV” and “TVlight” marked an important correction in the programming magazine market. Also in the year under review we improved the editorial concepts of several products, including “TV8” and “konsumTV”.

Turnover Switzerland Total in million CHF

569.7

556.0

546.4

Magazines

232.8

223.9

227.7

Newspapers Business Media Cicero/Monopol

193.5 24.2 8.3

200.7 22.2 4.9

197.8 21.5 2.8

Betty Bossi Television Various

46.8 50.0 14.1

42.7 46.5 15.1

40.3 39.8 16.5

2006

10

2005

2004


Newspapers The upheaval continues among the world’s newspapers. On the internet, Web 2.0 social software has opened the door to new online communities and interaction platforms. Clearly, emphases change along with people’s media needs. In Switzerland, this is the challenge the Ringier Newspapers division is ready to face. In March 2006 the powers-that-be at Ringier made the decision to launch a free evening commuter newspaper. Following in the footsteps of similar launches in Central and Eastern Europe, we published the first edition of “heute” (today) in Switzerland on May 15. No evening newspaper has been published in Switzerland in more than 30 years, which certainly justifies the use of the adjective innovative. “heute”’s mix of news, on-the-town and community features is geared to meet the needs of young city dwellers. Yes, it is possible to use lean, innovative structures to produce a daily – in fact, circulation and readership figures have gone up throughout the year. “Blick” has its work cut out in the tough market for paid-for newspapers. To hang on to the nearly 50-year-old title’s market share we launched the Blick 2010 project and expect initial results in 2007. The Sunday newspaper market is as enticing as ever, but just as competitive. Regional newspapers are trying to get a foot in the door with their own Sunday editions. Nevertheless, “SonntagsBlick” is still the undefeated number one in the readership battle. Launched in 2005, the “Sie+Er” weekend magazine undergoes constant improvement and strengthens “SonntagsBlick”s unique place on the seventh day of the week now and in times to come. Last spring we also acquired full ownership of “SPORTmagazin” from AZ Medien, Aarau. A growing number of users helped boost “Blick Online”’s commercial success.

Turnover Newspapers Total in million CHF

193.5

197.8

200.7

Sales

96.9

102.5

103.5

Advertising revenues Various

86.6 10.0

85.7 12.5

87.3 7.0

2006

2005

2004

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Magazines German-language magazines celebrated 2006 as a highly successful year. The launch of the monthly women’s magazine “SI Style“ in February, together with customized cross-title promotions for major advertisers, all contributed to a significantly higher year-on-year turnover. At the same time, pressure on magazine circulation, particularly from low-priced German competitors, was on the rise. “Schweizer Illustrierte” maintained its position as the people magazine with the widest reach and highest turnover. In its first year, the new title “SI Style” performed better than expected to become a prominent player in Switzerland’s market for women’s magazines. In Switzerland’s German-language TV programming magazine sector, Ringier reaffirmed its market leadership at the beginning of the year by acquiring two small competitive titles. Lower entry barriers intensified competition among programming magazines. The new semimonthly “TV2” has proven itself as an important strategic instrument. Following some difficult years, content and layout changes to “GlücksPost” in 2005 helped boost circulation. The fear that “SI Style” would poach “Bolero” readers proved unfounded. Ringier Romandie also had an excellent 2006. Women’s glamour magazine “Edelweiss” surprised everyone by moving back into the black – ample proof that the title has found its place in the luxury goods segment. “L’Hebdo” also saw spectacular growth. But the most solid pillar among magazines in French-speaking Switzerland is and always was “L’illustré”, which once again achieved outstanding results. Thanks to a new layout, growth at “TV8” was also entirely positive.

Turnover Magazines Total in million CHF

232.8

227.7

223.9

Sales

Advertising revenues Various 2006

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118.2

121.6

121.3

110.4 4.2

97.0 5.3

100.2 6.2

2005

2004


Business Media The launch of the “CASHdaily” multimedia project in September gave ample proof of the CASH Group’s pioneering spirit. Perceived as an indicator of the future of newspapers, the project, combining as it does print and electronic livepaper with web TV, mobile applications, audio and videocasting, received considerable notice all over the world. In the same spirit we combined, at the time of the launch of “CASHdaily”, previously separate publishing entities and editorial offices. Today the CASH Group is the world’s first media concern to market all media from a single source with central editorial offices. The launch of “CASHdaily”, Switzerland’s first daily business newspaper, was indeed successful. In 2007 distribution will be extended through the Valora newsstand chain while we continue to develop the electronic channel. The online version of our paper already has in excess of 25 000 registered users. The advertising market also reacted positively to the multimedia advertising made possible by the new platform. “CASHdaily” and a confident stock market environment helped “cash.ch” double the number of unique users and strengthen its position as Switzerland’s biggest independent business and finance platform at the same time. Given an average viewing audience of 187 000, the same can be said of “CASH-TV”’s Sunday evening broadcasts. The “CASH” weekly edition also benefited from favorable conditions, adding to reach and circulation to assume first place among business media.

Turnover Business Media Total in million CHF

22.2

24.2

Sales

21.5

6.7 6.9

Advertising revenues

15.2

12.8

Various

2.3

2.5

2006

2005

7.0

13.0 1.5 2004

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Television In 2006 Ringier’s TV division further fortified its position as Switzerland’s leading producer of television programming. All sport productions for Swisscom’s new and already successful Bluewin TV and for pay TV channel TELECLUB came from RingierTV. We are producing and/or editing more than 400 games of the football Axpo Super League, the national ice hockey league and the UEFA Champions League, and that includes studio-based broadcasts, each season. The three-year production contract is the biggest in RingierTV’s history. Next to its new sport unit RingierTV also produced more entertainment programming, such as “Genial daneben” for SF 1, shown in late prime time on Sundays to high ratings as a spin-off of the eponymous German comedy panel show. Swiss TV has since asked that we produce a second series of the program. Sat.1 (Schweiz)’s “mobileact – Battle of Bands”, the world’s first talent and casting show for up-and-coming bands, marked RingierTV’s entry into reality show production. The pilot of the eight-part series was tested successfully on the Swiss market. Its launch in other European countries is scheduled for 2007. We also enlarged our existing production portfolio, adding a French-language version of the popular cooking and quiz program “al dente”, which ran in a Saturday time spot last year, to move to Sundays in 2007. Ratings of the show on French-speaking channel TSR1 were excellent.

Turnover Television Total in million CHF

50.0

46.5

Sales

3.6

Advertising revenues

3.7

39.8

3.6 3.8 3.5 3.9

TV production

4.1

Various 2006

14

33.6

38.6

28.6 3.8

5.5 2005

2004


Publishing Services Keeping Publishing Services busy last year was the launch of “SI Style”, “heute” and “CASHdaily”. “heute” posed its own logistics challenge as vending machine locations were fine-tuned to coincide with the flow of commuters. Newsstand chain Valora AG became “CASHdaily”’s principal distribution channel. Each print edition is now available in trays or on shelves next to the CASH desks of Valora’s 1100 newsstands. 2006 saw the manufacture of sales racks for the newspaper “heute” and the print edition of “CASHdaily”, while manufacturer and operator of newspaper vending machines MediaMat finished designing its new PX 1 machine. The initial production run is destined to replace older “SonntagsBlick” vending machines. State-of-the-art communication helped our customer contact center to again massively increase outbound productivity, while efficient customer recruitment processes were the focus of customer relationship management. Helping Ringier to a head start in reader marketing for years to come is our collaboration with the direct marketing department of Gruner + Jahr (dpv-direct).

Ringier Germany Aggressive competition marked by intensive poaching was rampant once more at Germany’s newsstands throughout 2006. Paid circulations declined across the board as the remaining total was divided up among an ever-growing number of publications. What’s more, recovery of advertising spends since early 2000 has been minimal and ad scheduling and buying has become increasingly short term. And contrary to expectations during the football world championship, magazine ad sales actually declined. Nevertheless, in the premium readership market the monthly political culture magazine “Cicero” became a well-established entity. Commercial success also exceeded expectations. In March, in Berlin, publishing moved house from Potsdam to Potsdamer Platz, the government quarter, and October saw the opening of the “Cicero” magazine’s Gallery of Political Photography at Hackeschen Markt, Berlin’s most trendy area. We also bought a controlling interest in art magazine “Monopol” early in 2006. Established in 2004, the bimonthly has since become a strong presence in the art market, with paid circulation at around 30,000 copies. The two founders and publishers now maintain a minority share in the magazine. Ringier Germany’s magazines “Cicero” and “Monopol” are the result of a strategy of developing magazines in the premium segment of the market of sophisticated readers who want more in-depth information, contrary to the embrace of sensationalism practiced elsewhere.

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Ringier Czech Republic A 15.5 percent print media share elevated Ringier to leadership in the Czech Republic’s readership market. Our 31.6 percent market share of the country’s dailies makes us undisputed number one. In the magazine sector we come second, with a 14.8 percent market share. “Blesk” is the Czech Republic’s most successful daily but has to do battle with its competitors, including new tabloids “Sip” and “AHA”. In May 2006 we added to our portfolio of three television titles semimonthly television guide “TV Max” – which has since achieved a substantial circulation figure. Society magazine “Reflex” launched a line of travel books and books for light reading, authored by in-house journalists. Seven books have been published so far.

Turnover Czech Republic Total in million CHF

146.0

136.3

120.1

70.5

Sales

70.4

60.0

Advertising revenues

55.0

44.0

39.7

Printing plant revenues Various

17.8 2.7

20.1 1.8

18.5 1.9

2006

16

2005

2004


Ringier Hungary 2006 represented a great challenge for Ringier in Hungary. After a strong spring and summer, fueled by Hungary's parliamentary elections in April and the football World Cup in early summer, the second half of the year was disappointing. The newly elected government's austerity program – aimed at curbing the EU's largest budget deficit – took effect in September, hitting hard both circulation and advertising revenues of our flagship dailies. The public demonstrations of September and October further soured the mood of advertisers. The circulation of dailies “Blikk” and “Nepszabadsag” fell, and even “Nemzeti Sport” performed less well than anticipated – despite the World Cup. In a fiercely competitive women’s magazine market the development of “Blikk Nök” was gratifying, while our new people magazine “hot!“ averaged 136 429 copies sold, well above the expected 68 000. “Vasarnapi Blikk” (Sunday edition) made good progress in advertising revenues. Brand extension projects, such as magazine specials, events and books, continued to accelerate in 2006.

Turnover Hungary Total in million CHF

101.8

116.1

Sales

61.5

83.2

51.3 42.9

Advertising revenues Printing plant revenues

41.5 2.0

Various

11.1 2006

46.9 3.6 2005

36.9 3.4 2004

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Ringier Romania Even though competition continued unabated, we grew faster than the rest of the market, with turnover up 20 percent on the previous year. Existing titles held or improved their position. The tabloid “Libertatea” was Romania’s only newspaper to add to both reach and paid circulation. “Compact”, a free newspaper launched in May, far exceeded expectations. Readers and advertisers accepted it quickly and early on. Line extensions, first launched in 2005, expanded successfully this past year with other products. Next to further expanding the Libertatea group, Ringier Romania launched “Unica wedding” and “TVmania seriale”. In the fourth quarter about half of “Libertatea”’s employees quit en masse to start up a competitive tabloid which, however, had no discernible impact by year’s end. Although we survived the bloodletting well, the situation it caused shows how fragile and short-lived Romania’s media market is even now and that we have to observe it closely in the future.

Turnover Romania Total in million CHF

58.2

72.2

54.3

Sales

35.8

28.9

24.5

Advertising revenues Printing plant revenues Various

33.5 1.1 1.8

26.8 1.3 1.2

25.8 1.4 2.6

2006

18

2005

2004


Ringier Slovakia In spite of the assault by a competitive tabloid launched last September, the daily “Novy Cas” defended its number-one position and even boosted its circulation to 191 000. The weekly “Novy Cas Pre Zeny” and monthly “Eva” are the undisputed leaders among women’s magazines, while the weekly tabloid “Novy Cas L’Udia” consolidated its market position and even increased circulation. New initiatives in the TV magazine segment bore fruit in 2006 as the semimonthly “TV Max”, launched in June, quickly outpaced the competition. Selling DVDs at market price together with TV magazine „Eurotelevizia“ generated an additional revenue stream. Close to 400 000 DVDs were sold in 2006.

Turnover Slovakia Total in million CHF

61.3

Sales

43.6

51.5

28.7 24.8 20.6

32.0 0.6

Advertising revenues Various 2006

20.7

26.5 0.2 2005

2.3 2004

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Ringier Serbia Ringier Serbia had a successful 2006. Two new products hit the starting blocks: “Blic Puls”, the weekly people magazine, took the lead in this segment right from its April start. And “24sata” (24 hours), the first and so far only free weekday daily, was launched in mid-September in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade. Both titles have already established themselves among young, educated readers. “Blic”, Ringier’s Serbian flagship publication, maintained its leadership in the face of two tabloid newcomers and two new competitive Sunday titles, and is also the leading Serbian-language daily in Bosnia-Herzegovina. “Blic” was and is Serbia’s most widely read newspaper and keeps distancing itself from the competition. Weekly women’s magazine “Blic Zena”’’s paid circulation rose to almost 300 000 in just two years, the highest of any title in the former Yugoslavia.

Turnover Serbia Total in million CHF

26.1

34.2

Sales

18.9

18.2

15.4 11.6

Advertising revenues Various 2006

5.6 1.7

9.1 1.6

15.6 0.4 2005

2004

Ringier Ukraine Ringier’s takeover of start-up company Free Media Ukraine GmbH marked the first time a daily newspaper publisher from Western Europe had entered the Ukrainian market without a local partner. “Blik”, a tabloid and the country’s only politically independent daily, was launched in Kiev on May 22. Low price and professional execution soon led to a better-than-average increase in both circulation and readership. Adding to the momentum of the upward trend was a new, South East Ukrainian regional edition, launched in mid-October.

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Turnover Central and Eastern Europe 373.9

430.0

Total in million CHF

320.1

214.8

Sales

190.8 159.6

Advertising revenues Printing plant revenues Various

177.6 20.9 16.7 2006

153.3 21.4 8.4 2005

128.7 20.0 11.8 2004

Sales shares Central and Eastern Europe Serbia 7.9 %

Romania 16.8 %

Czech Republic 34.0 %

Hungary 27.0 % Slovakia 14.3 %

21


Ringier Pacific Our businesses in booming Asia continue to grow, but even we are not impervious to surprises. Turnover was up 16.3 percent, to CHF 63.4 million, and advertising sales rose another 13.5 percent year on year. But there were disappointments, too, particularly in China. Some titles grew more slowly than the market average, namely the Beijing and Shanghai city guides, which felt the impact of declining real estate advertising caused by government efforts to cool down the overheated real estate market. Some trade publications, on the other hand, indirectly suffered the effects of higher oil prices which caused advertising cuts, particularly in the plastics industry. The launch of a planned weekly was delayed by our Chinese partners’ present inability to obtain the necessary license. But there is good news to report too: Turnover in Vietnam was up 18 percent and “Asia Inflight” is now the region’s leading inflight magazine and a strong player in the Chinese magazine market. “Betty’s Kitchen”’s performance is a joy to behold: The number of subscribers tripled in two years, advertising sales were up 40 percent and not least, “Betty’s Kitchen” cookbooks regularly make China’s bestseller lists. The acquisition, in May, of Food Pacific Ltd. and its three catering publications upped Ringier Trade Publishing’s title portfolio to 29, a number that includes the four recently launched trade journals.

Turnover Pacific Total in million CHF Sales

63.4 (1.2*) 1.0

54.5 (1.1*)

51.9 (1.0*)

0.9 0.8

23.2

Advertising revenues

Printing plant revenues Various

36.2 3.0 2006

*non-consolidated turnover

22

2005

20.4

16.4

31.1 2.1

32.4 2.3 2004


Sales shares Pacific China 12.0 % Hong Kong printing 57.3 %

Hong Kong publishing 28.2 %

Vietnam 2.5 %* *including non-consolidated turnover

23


Print Print Switzerland Turnover at our Adligenswil/Lucerne newspaper printing plant stabilized at 18 percent less than the year before. The reasons are consolidation moves in retailing, product migration to different printing processes and aggressive competition from Switzerland’s other printers of newspapers. Cost cutting, including an eight percent cut in personnel, kept up our performance, even improving the rate of return. The project entitled rollenwechel.ch – or equipment replacement – reached the decision-making stage and Ringier’s Board of Directors gave the green light in December 2006. To also meet the needs of “Neue Luzerner Zeitung”, the project’s first stage involves refurbishing the shipping room. In a second stage and to sharpen Ringier Print Adligenswil’s competitive edge, printing equipment is to be replaced.

Printing plant production

Turnover Thereof job printing Thereof own publications Value added Personnel costs

million CHF 2006

million CHF 2005

million CHF 2004

Change in Percent

398.5 275.6 122.9 234.6 155.5

396.0 273.0 123.0 233.3 151.6

316.1 196.0 120.1 185.5 122.4

+0.6 +1.0 – 0.1 +0.6 +2.6

Swiss Printers AG and its four subsidiaries made further advances in the year under review. In the face of heavy competition and declining prices, turnover remained at the 2005 level. Coordinated action by the new consortium and streamlined order processing improved capacity use. In July of 2006, Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA joined the consortium as its fifth – and first French-language – member. Edipresse became another stockholder, with Ringier Print Holding maintaining its voting majority. NZZ Fretz AG and Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG, sheet-feed printers both, gained market share and improved their results. Zollikofer AG and Ringier Print Zofingen AG felt the effects of a market in trouble. Resultant countermeasures designed to reduce costs, together with outsourcing, are expected to improve the situation.

24


Total sales Print Switzerland Total in million CHF

398.5

396.0

316.1

Zollikofer* NZZ Fretz*

68.7 22.7

70.4 20.8

Ringier Print Zofingen*

185.1

194.5

191.4

100.8 Ringier Print Adligenswil Imprimeries RĂŠunies Lausanne SA** ZĂźrcher Druck + Verlag*

83.7 27.8 10.4

* Merged in Swiss Printers AG since January, 2005. ** Joined Swiss Printers AG in July, 2006.

2006

109.8

14.9

9.5 2005

2004

273.0

196.0

Customer sales printing Total in million CHF

275.6

34.5

Printing export

32.7

33.3

225.0 16.1

Printing Switzerland Various 2006

226.4 13.9 2005

154.6 8.1 2004

25


Print Czech Republic After the necessary permits were obtained last year in March, construction of our new newspaper and sheet-fed offset printing plant in Ostrava – a major Ringier investment last year – began on June 19. A shakedown of the bookbinding operation was started as early as December 2006. The plant is expected to be operational in July 2007. January 13, 2006 saw the delivery of a new printing press at Ringier Print in Prague, which went online for night printing on April 10, 2006. The move helped prepare the plant for the growing print volume of “Blesk”, a daily.

Print Hungary On January 6 last year and following the expansion of our new Budapest printing plant, where “Blikk” and “Nemzeti Sport“ have been produced since 2005, we started printing the daily “Nepszabadsag”. Daily print runs of 600 000 copies attest to the fact that it has the country’s greatest printing capacity by far.

Print Romania 2006 saw the evaluation of plans for a new newspaper printing plant in Bucharest. The planning process will continue into 2007.

Print Serbia With a daily circulation of 580 000 and thanks to the rapid growth of Ringier titles “Blic” and “24sata”, Ringier joint venture APM Print in Belgrade is now the country’s biggest newspaper printing plant.

Print Hong Kong More good news on the printing front: Ringier Print Hong Kong set a new turnover record in 2006 with an increase of 20 percent expressed in local currency and a still proud 13 percent in Swiss francs. Ringier Print Hong Kong lastingly improved both its market position and earnings last fall by acquiring plant, equipment and order book of competing K2 Printing.

Major participations Switzerland Last summer Edipresse SA brought Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA of Renens, a rotary and sheet-fed offset printing plant, into Swiss Printers AG, Zofingen, previously owned by Ringier and NZZ alone. The move reduced our share in Swissprinters from 70 percent to 58.82 percent. In the spring of 2006, we and Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG) realigned the ownership of Good News Productions AG. Our share in the company is now at 43 percent. In October we acquired from Bern’s Faro TV its 30 percent share in Zana Media AG, which creates and markets television programs for the international market. At year’s end Ringier acquired a one-third share in Freeflow AG, Freienbach, a start-up specializing in community platforms. And we sold our 18 percent share to Lucerne’s Radio Pilatus AG to streamline our participation portfolio.

26


Switzerland Addictive Productions AG, Zurich Bolero Zeitschriften AG, Zurich Investhaus AG, Zurich Mediamat AG, Zurich Rincovision AG, Zurich Ringier Print Adligenswil AG, Adligenswil Ringier Print Holding AG, Zurich Zana Media AG, Zurich Previon AG, Zofingen SMI Schule für Medienintegration AG, Zofingen JRP Ringier Kunstverlag AG, Zurich Swiss Printers AG, Zofingen – Ringier Print Zofingen AG, Zofingen – Zollikofer AG, St. Gallen – Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA, Renens – NZZ Fretz AG, Schlieren – Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG, Rotkreuz Betty Bossi Verlag AG, Zurich ER Publishing SA, Lausanne Sat.1 (Schweiz) AG, Zurich 2R Media SA, Locarno Good News Productions AG, Zurich Grundy Schweiz AG, Zurich Teleclub AG, Zurich SMD Schweizer Mediendatenbank AG, Zurich PresseTV AG, Zurich Freeflow AG, Freienbach PrintOnline AG, Schlieren Schober Direct Media AG, Bachenbülach

100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 85% 85% 80% 58.82% 58.82% 58.82% 58.82% 58.82% 58.82% 50% 50% 50% 45% 43% 35% 33.33% 33% 30% 30% 25% 20%

Europe and Asia In January we bought a three-quarter share in Berlin’s Juno Kunstverlag GmbH, which publishes German-language art magazine “Monopol”. Our 100 percent takeover, in the spring of 2006, of Free Media Ukraine Ltd., Kiev, publishers of the tabloid “Blik”, marked our entry in the Ukrainian market.

27


Europe and Asia Ringier Publishing GmbH, Berlin Ringier France SA, Paris Juno Kunstverlag GmbH, Berlin Ringier CR a.s., Prague Ceskoslovensky Sport s.r.o., Prague Ringier Print Praha a.s., Prague Ringier Print s.r.o., Ostrava PNS a.s., Prague Ringier Slovakia a.s., Bratislava Ringier Kiado Kft., Budapest Nepszabadsag Rt., Budapest Euromedia Bt., Budapest Ringier Romania s.r.l., Bucharest Ringier Print s.r.l., Bucharest S.C. Editura Sportrom s.r.l., Bucharest S.C. Editura Bauer s.r.l., Bucharest

100% 100% 75% 100% 100% 100% 100% 27.02% 100% 100% 67.64% 50% 100% 100% 100% 50%

Blic Press d.o.o., Belgrade Blic Marketing d.o.o., Belgrade

74.9% 74.9%

Free Media Ukraine Ltd., Kiev

100%

Asia Inflight Ltd., Hong Kong Ringier Pacific Ltd., Hong Kong Ringier Print (HK) Ltd., Hong Kong Ringier Trade Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong Beijing Ringier Int. Advertising Co., Ltd., Beijing Adnet Co. Ltd., Hanoi

100% 100% 100% 90% 70% 51%

Human Resources Noncyclical and innovative investments in a dog-eat-dog economy largely determine the dynamics of our human resources management. Restructuring at Ringier Print Adligenswil and Blick Publishing and adding to the workforces of Ringier operations in virtually every Central European country, as well as at Publishing Switzerland, not to mention the advent of the new free evening newspaper “heute” and the “CASHdaily” multimedia platform, put their stamp on Human Resources in 2006. Romania and Serbia are prime examples: The free newspapers “Compact” in the former and in the latter “24sata”, together with people magazine “Blic Puls”, produced a steep rise in the number of jobs. Ringier also invested in a two-track, volunteer personnel training program. This on-thejob training regimen for young journalists is a textbook example of strategy implementation

28


through personnel development. A central element of that strategy, created in the course of last year, is employee development. A survey of the employees at all subsidiaries of Swiss Printers AG produced a 43 percent response rate. Team workshops, whose purpose is to create and maintain good working conditions and employee motivation, dealt with company loyalty, job satisfaction, motivation, productivity/performance and the ability and readiness to accept change. By the end of 2006, the integration of Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA in the Swissprinters Group was completed successfully. We created the basis for uniform processes, insurance solutions, pension fund payments and regulations, and employment conditions – always mindful of and sensitive to cultural and language differences. The broad-based corporate strategy developed in 2006 puts great weight on human resources management: Ringier wants to attract the best brains and keep them. Human Resources is laying the groundwork with regular employee satisfaction surveys and the optimizations they inspire. Increasingly recognized as a sustainable employee management tool, numerous interviews with individual employees gave us insight into expectations and produced valuable feedback on job performance.

Employee Structure Group Ringier Publishing Ringier Print Adligenswil AG Ringier Print Zofingen AG* Zollikofer AG* Imprimerie Réunies Lausanne SA** NZZ Fretz AG* Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG* Betty Bossi Verlag AG Ringier Switzerland

2006

2005

2004

1427 415 770 260 222 91 70 137 3392

1424 461 805 279 – 92 67 115 3243

1394 509 851 – – – 71 107 2932

3392 10 748 754 747 303 235 122 576 6887

3243 5 731 758 704 286 182 – 532 6441

2932 5 690 851 693 255 140 – 515 6081

* Merged in Swiss Printers AG since January, 2005, ** Joined Swiss Printers AG in July, 2006.

Switzerland Germany Czech Republic Hungary Romania Slovakia Serbia Ukraine Asia (China/Vietnam) Ringier Group

29


Corporate Communications As Ringier continued to grow in 2006, so did the frequency of reports and information campaigns. Meeting this rising demand is the expansion of existing in-house channels and the creation of new in-house media. German, English, French, Romanian, Czechian and Hungarian language versions of our DOMO employee magazine have been published since early 2006. The international roll-out of employee portal my.ringier took place in September. Its news platform eDOMO for German and French-speaking Switzerland is now available to our employees in Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary as well. In addition, all members of Ringier Switzerland’s management receive Ringier In-House, our management newsletter DOMOdaily, every day. Group-wide dissemination of our new corporate strategy starting in September was a demonstration of the new channels’ efficiency as a cross-border information exchange for which COMnet International, made up of Heads of Communication in the countries in which we operate, provides content.

Social and environmental culture Ringier’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program: Sustainability has been a feature of Ringier’s media and printing operations since 1992, and we have published environmental balance sheets once every three years ever since. The first stand-alone «UmweltPLUS» report on all our Swiss divisions was issued in 2003. The Ringier management is now going a step further by extending social and environmental culture reporting to all Ringier companies in Europe and Asia, under observance of internationally recognized standards. In our anniversary year of 2008, we intend to publish a global Corporate Social Responsibility Report, the first Swiss media concern to do so. Accepting corporate social responsibility entails an integrated explanation of our economic, ecological and social corporate activities to the general public. The point is to make our corporate commitment on sustainability transparent and justifiable to business and society at large. Our CSR is also a declaration of ethics and we use it as a decision-making basis. What’s at stake is nothing less than believability and trust in our Group’s social and environmental culture and actions. One aspect of sustainability is found in the reporting itself, Its purpose is to provide actionable information to individuals inside and outside our Group. In so doing we embrace in principle the internationally recognized guidelines for transparent CSR reporting issued by GRI, the Global Reporting Initiative, which is linked with the United Nations’ UNEP Environment Program. The policy consulting firm of INFRAS Zurich is helping us with concept generation and execution. We want to come up with a detailed record of the status quo that clearly shows how responsibly the Group acts toward its stakeholders. The project team has done valuable conceptual work since June of 2005. During the first half of 2007 the team will collect data at each of the sites in which we own a 50 percent share or more and have operational influence. Using a questionnaire we will gather information at our publishing houses and printing plants in various countries on working conditions, the economy, the environment, human rights, society and product responsibility. Our CSR program marks an irreversible strategic decision in favor of sustainability. The

30


new policy will no doubt generate action which, our leaders realize, can produce conflicts with interest groups, the media and the body politic, particularly since integrated transparency is not yet practiced in all parts of the media landscape. Yet we welcome being one of the earlybirds because the freedom of action our policy is bound to engender will soon stand us in good stead in a globalized world.

Organization Ringier Holding AG Owners

Ringier Division Management

Evelyn Lingg-Ringier Annette Ringier Michael Ringier

Thomas Landolt, Ringier Publishing Switzerland Peter Mertus, Ringier Publishing Slovakia Attila Mihok, Ringier Publishing Serbia/Ukraine Tim Murray, Ringier Publishing China/Vietnam Bela Papp, Ringier Publishing Hungary Libuse Smuclerova, Ringier Publishing Czech Republic Alexander Theobald, Ringier Publishing Romania Thomas Trüb, Ringier Publishing Pacific, New Media Radomir Klein, Ringier Print Europa Peter Siau, Ringier Print Hong Kong

Ringier Holding AG Board of Directors Michael Ringier, Chairman Dr. Uli Sigg, Vice-President Oscar Frei, Member Jan O. Frøshaug, Member Prof. Dr. h.c. Hans-Olaf Henkel, Member Martin Werfeli, Secretary

Ringier Group Management Martin Werfeli, President and CEO Ulrich Flörchinger, Finance Thomas Landolt, Ringier Publishing Switzerland Peter Mertus, Ringier Publishing Slovakia/ Czech Republic Alexander Theobald, Ringier Publishing Hungary/Romania Thomas Trüb, Ringier Publishing Pacific, New Media

Swiss Printers AG Rudolf Lisibach, General Manager, Director

Ringier Management Departments

Daniel Baer, General Manager, NZZ Fretz AG Gérald Lechault, General Manager, Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA Rudolf Lisibach, General Manager, Ringier Print Zofingen AG Urban Möll, General Manager, Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG Alex Zahner, General Manager, Zollikofer AG

Caterina Ammann, Legal Services Marco Castellaneta, Corporate Communications & Services Samuel Hügli, Media Technology + IT Mark Kohout, Corporate Development Jean-Luc Mauron, Human Resources Frank A. Meyer, Journalist Jacques Pilet, Media Development

Situation on March 21, 2007

31


Publications and circulations Czech Republic

Switzerland 2

Betty Bossi Blick Bolero CASH CASHdaily (free paper) 2 edelweiss Gesundheit Sprechstunde GlücksPost heute (free paper) 2 il caffè (free paper) L’Hebdo L’illustré Montres Passion/Uhrenwelt Schweizer Illustrierte SI Style2 SonntagsBlick SPORTmagazin Tele TV täglich (supplement) 2 TV2 2 TVvier TV8

Edition 20061 916 072 254 657 22 395 61 547 65 000 23 417 88 196 146 385 200 000 51 410 44 870 90 717 90 000 232 519 300 000 272 425 12 332 171 893 1 233 000 75 000 59 473 79 107

Germany Cicero Monopol

1 2

Edition 2006 70 252 30 000

Sold circulation certified by WEMF/SW Not certified circulation/print run/target

Situation on March 21, 2007

32

24hodin (free paper) Abc Blesk Blesk Hobby Blesk Krisovski Blesk Magazin Blesk Pro Zeny Ex Nedelni Blesk Nedelni Sport Reflex Sport Sport Magazin TV Max TV Plus TV Revue Tydenik Televize

Edition 2006 197 801 56 252 477 624 64 688 72 106 602 635 203 572 56 685 290 326 38 861 53 685 66 390 70 804 227 084 104 175 81 050 126 258

Hungary Blikk Blikk Nök Blikk Romantika Blikk TV Magazin Bravo Bravo Girl Buci Maci hot! Im Im Style Nemzeti Sport Nespzabadsag Tina Tina Extra Vasarnapi Blikk

Edition 2006 245 905 158 978 6 724 256 191 53 246 48 757 20 560 135 454 48 716 32 452 83 519 148 482 64 498 73 838 207 405


Romania Bolero Bravo Bravo Girl Capital Compact (free paper) Evenimentul Zilei Evenimentul Zilei TV Guide Evenimentul Zilei de Duminica Libertatea Libertatea de Duminica Libertatea Pentru Femei Libertatea Weekend Lumea Femeilor Pro Sport Pro Sport de Duminica TV Mania TV Satelit Unica

Serbia Edition 2006 40 343 50 296 40 926 37 893 150 000 68 345 139 673 39 148 264 073 195 311 135 153 421 007 50 824 76 446 49 557 107 329 71 544 36 619

Slovakia Eurotelevizia Eva In Novy Cas Novy Cas Krizovky Novy Cas L’Udia Novy Cas Nedela Novy Cas Pre Zeny Novy Cas Vikend Rebecca Telemagazin TV Max Zivot

Edition 2006 132 900 69 683 23 675 188 508 113 923 70 758 64 400 246 681 257 835 47 279 58 194 127 511 141 732

24sata (free paper) Blic Blic Ljubavni Roman Blic Puls Blic TV Magazin Blic Zena

Edition 2006 150 000 147 863 15 240 86 560 196 307 288 328

Ukraine Edition 2006 41 526

Blik

China Betty’s Kitchen CAAC Inflight Magazine China International Business City Weekend Restaurateur Trade magazines (29 titles)

Edition 2006 276 000 280 000 45 038 90 600 22 990 à 5 500

Vietnam Bep Gia Dinh (Family Kitchen) The Guide Thoi Bao Kinh Te Thoi Trang Tre (New Fashion) Tu Van Tieu Dung Vietnam Economic Times

Edition 2006 30 000 10 000 20 000 55 000 20 000 10 000

33


Locations Switzerland Ringier AG Dufourstrasse 23, CH-8008 Zurich Phone +41 44 259 61 11 Fax +41 44 259 43 79 info@ringier.ch, www.ringier.ch RingierTV Hagenholzstrasse 83b, CH-8050 Zurich Phone +41 44 308 54 54 Fax +41 44 308 54 40 info@ringiertv.ch, www.ringiertv.ch Ringier SA Ringier Romandie Pont Bessières 3, Case postale 7289 CH-1002 Lausanne Phone +41 21 331 71 15 Fax +41 21 331 70 01 ringier.romandie@ringier.ch www.ringier.ch Ringier Print Adligenswil AG Postfach 2469, CH-6002 Lucerne Phone +41 41 375 12 53 Fax +41 41 375 16 68 info.rpa@ringier.ch, www.ringierprint.ch Swiss Printers AG/ Ringier Print Zofingen AG Brühlstrasse 5, CH-4800 Zofingue Phone +41 62 746 31 11 Fax +41 62 746 32 62 print.mkt@ringier.ch, www.ringierprint.ch Zollikofer AG Fürstenlandstrasse 122, CH-9001 St. Gallen Phone +41 71 272 77 77 Fax +41 71 272 74 72 info@zollikofer.ch, www.zollikofer.ch Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA Chemin du Closel 5, Case postale 350 CH-1020 Renens Phone +41 21 349 53 49 Fax +41 21 349 53 53 info@irl.ch, www.irl.ch NZZ Fretz AG Zürcherstrasse 39, CH-8952 Schlieren Phone +41 44 258 14 44 Fax +41 44 258 18 80 fretz@nzz-fretz.ch, www.nzz-fretz.ch

34

Zürcher Druck + Verlag AG Riedstrasse 1, CH-6343 Rotkreuz Phone +41 41 798 31 50 Fax +41 41 798 31 58 zdv@ringier.ch, www.zuercher-druck.ch Germany Ringier Publishing GmbH Lennéstrasse 1, D-10785 Berlin Phone +49 30 981 941 100 Fax +49 30 981 941 199 info@cicero.de, www.cicero.de Czech Republic Ringier CR a.s. U Pruhonu 13, CZ-170 00 Praha 7 Phone +420 225 977 720 Fax +420 225 977 718 www.ringier.cz Printing plants: Ringier Print s.r.o. Novinarska 1254/7, CZ-709 70 Ostrava Phone +420 596 668 111 Fax +420 596 626 437 ringierprint@ringierprint.cz, www.ringierprint.cz Ringier Print Praha a.s. Cernokostelecka 145, CZ-108 00 Praha 10 Phone +420 225 283 203 Fax +420 225 283 208 info@ringier-print.cz, www.ringierprint.cz Hungary Ringier Kiado Kft. Szuglo u. 81-85, HU-1141 Budapest Phone +361 460 25 00 Fax +361 460 25 01 kiado@ringier.hu, www.ringier.hu Printing plants: Ringier Print Budapest, Campona u.1., Harbor, Park, A3A Building, HU-1225 Budapest Phone +361 207 81 30 Fax +361 207 81 69 Romania Ringier Romania s.r.l., Novo Parc, Bulevardul Dimitrie Pompeiu nr. 6 Sector 2, RO-Bucuresti (Pipera) Phone +40 212 030 800 Fax +40 212 035 621 www.ringier.ro


Slovakia Ringier Slovakia, a.s. Prievozska 14, SK-821 09 Bratislava Phone +421 258 227 111 Fax +421 258 227 450 www.ringier.sk Serbia IP Blic Press d.o.o./Ringier Serbien Ul. Kraljice Marije 1/IX, YU-11000 Beograd Phone +381 11 333 4701 Fax +381 11 333 4703 redakcija@blic.co.yu, www.blic.co.yu Ukraine Free Media Ukraine GmbH/Ringier Ukraine 52, Degtyaryovskaya Str., Kiev, 04112, Ukraine Phone +38 044 490 91 11 Fax +38 044 490 91 44 info@freemedia.biz, www.blik.net.ua China Ringier Pacific Ltd. Unit 401-5, 4/F New Victory House 93-103 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, SAR Hong Kong Phone +852 2369 8788 Fax +852 2869 5919 www.ringierpacific.com Ringier Trade Publishing Ltd. Unit 401-5, 4/F New Victory House 93-103 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, SAR Hong Kong Phone +852 2369 8788 Fax +852 2869 5919 Asia Inflight Ltd. Unit 401-5, 4/F New Victory House 93-103 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, SAR Hong Kong Phone +852 2537 9128 Fax +852 2869 7663 Ringier Pacific Ltd., Beijing Representative Office Room 7001-7005, Hua Li Building No. 58 Jinbao Street Dongcheng District Beijing 100005, P.R.C. Phone +8610 6528 1840 Fax +8610 6528 0154 www.ringierpacific.com

Beijing Ringier International Advertising Co., Ltd. Room 7001-7005, Hua Li Building No. 58 Jinbao Street Dongcheng District Beijing 100005, P.R.C. Phone +8610 6528 1840 Fax +8610 6528 0154 Beijing Ringier International Advertising Co., Ltd. Shanghai Branch Room 1501, World Trade Tower 500 Guang Dong Road, Shanghai 200001, P.R.C. Phone +8621 6362 0022 Fax +8621 6360 5200 Ringier Trade Publishing Ltd. Shanghai Representative Office Room 1001, Building 3 No. 1486 West Nanjing Road Shanghai 200040, P.R.C. Phone +8621 6289 5533 Fax +8621 6247 4860 ShenZhen Ringier Trade Advertising Ltd. Room 509, 5/F.Block 201 West Tai Ran Industrial District, Shenzhen Guangdong 518040, P.R.C. Printing plants: Ringier Print (HK) Ltd. 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po, Industrial Estate Tai Po, N.T. Hong Kong Phone +852 2660 2666 Fax +852 2664 1993 www.ringierpacific.com Vietnam Ringier Representative Office 25, Thanh Mien Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi, Vietnam Phone +84 4 77 61 660 Fax +84 4 77 61 660 ringier.sh@hn.vnn.vn, www.ringier.com.vn AdNet Co., Ltd. 25, Thanh Mien Street, Dong Da District Hanoi, Vietnam Phone +84 4 77 61 660 Fax +84 4 77 61 660 ringier.sh@hn.vnn.vn, www.ringier.com.vn For information of Ringier in India and Indonesia: Phone +41 44 259 64 26 Fax +41 44 259 86 86 michele.mettler@ringier.ch

35


Milestones 2006 01.01.06

Switzerland

03.01.06

Switzerland

06.01.06 16.01.06

Czech Republic Germany

01.02.06

Czech Republic

10.02.06 10.02.06 20.02.06

Hungary Hungary Switzerland

01.03.06

China

01.03.06

Romania

09.03.06 16.03.06 16.03.06

Hungary Serbia Serbia

17.03.06 23.03.06 29.03.06

Romania Hungary Hungary

01.04.06

China

01.04.06 11.04.06 13.04.06 24.04.06

Czech Republic Hungary Switzerland Switzerland

02.05.06 09.05.06

Romania Switzerland

15.05.06 15.05.06 19.05.06 22.05.06

Switzerland Czech Republic China Ukraine

Launch of free daily newspaper “Compact” Acquisition of voting majority and increase of share in Good News to 43 percent Launch of free evening newspaper “heute” Launch of TV program magazine “TV Max” Acquisition of three trade journals in the foodstuffs sector Launch of daily newspaper “Blik” in Kiev, entry into market

01.06.06 02.06.06 26.06.06

Serbia Hungary Slovakia

Close of “Blic Europa” Publication of summer magazine “Blikk Nök Extra Nya” Launch of TV program magazine “TV Max”

01.07.06

Czech Republic

01.07.06

Hungary

07.07.06

Hungary

19.07.06

Switzerland

Pavel Prochazka becomes Editor-in-Chief of free daily newspaper “24hodin” Kira Fazekas becomes Editor-in-Chief of women's magazine “Tina” Launch of crossword magazine “Blikk Nök Extra Keresztrejtveny” Start of football/ice hockey live broadcasts for Bluewin TV and TELECLUB

36

Imprimeries Réunies Lausanne SA (IRL) joined Swiss Printers AG TV show premiere “Genial daneben” on SF 1; launch on Sat.1. (Schweiz) on October 2005 Launch of nightlife guide “Ex” Acquisition of art magazine “Monopol” Daniel Hort becomes Executive Director of Sales and Marketing of Sport Group, with date 1st August also of free daily newspaper 24hodin Launch of teenage novel series “Bravo Girl Tini Love” Publication of first book “Bravo” Harry Potter Launch of celebrity- and fashion-magazine “SI Style” Launch of special interest magazine “International Woodworking News for China” Marco Stettler becomes Executive Director of Free Newspapers Division Publication of Easter magazine “Blikk Nök Extra Husvet” Launch of people magazine “Blic Puls” Sandra Radovanovic becomes Editor-in-Chief of people magazine “Blic Puls” Publication of wedding magazine “Unica Wedding” Launch of health magazine “Blikk Extra Egeszseg” Publication of election magazine “Blikk Extra Valasztas” Launch of special interest magazine “International Pharmaceutical Ingredients News for China” Publication of “Reflex-Interview” Launch of fashion and style magazine “Im Style” Close of TV show People on Sat.1 (Schweiz) Acquisition of “SPORTmagazin”


21.07.06

Hungary

Publication of Football Word Champion magazine “Nemzeti Sport Extra - Vilagbajnoksag”

03.08.06 07.08.06

Hungary Ukraine

Launch of people magazine “hot!” Attila Mihok, General Manager of Ringier Publishing Serbia, is also named General Manager of Ringier Publishing Ukraine

01.09.06

China

01.09.06

China

01.09.06

Romania

01.09.06 01.09.06

Serbia Serbia

08.09.06 18.09.06 18.09.06

Switzerland Serbia Serbia

30.9.06

China

Launch of special interest magazine International Metalworks News for Asia Launch of special interest magazine “International Plastics News for Asia” Iulia Dinu becomes Executive Director of Economic and Reference Newspaper division Jelena Drakulic becomes Executive Director of newspapers Gyula Nemeth becomes Executive Director of magazines and e-media Launch of “CASHdaily” multimedia business platform Launch of free daily newspaper “24sata” Marko Stjepanovic becomes Editor-in-Chief of free daily newspaper “24sata” Acquisition of printing plant K2, Hong Kong

01.10.06

Switzerland

01.10.06 01.10.06

Czech Republic Slovakia

01.10.06

Hungary

01.10.06

Romania

17.10.06

Ukraine

18.10.06 19.10.06

Romania Romania

30.10.06

Switzerland

01.11.06

Romania

01.11.06

Romania

02.11.06 25.11.06

Hungary Romania

01.12.06

Switzerland

01.12.06

Switzerland

14.12.06

Romania

14.12.06

Hungary

Ueli Heiniger named Head of the internal continuing education series DENKwerkstatt Vladimir Muzik becomes Editor-in-Chief of “Blesk” Jan Bednaric becomes Editor-in-Chief of daily newspaper “Novy Cas” Marcel Muranyi becomes Editor-in-Chief of daily newspaper “Blikk” Günther Graml named Executive Director of the Distribution & Subscription division Daily newspaper “Blik” now published in the Eastern and Southern part of Ukraine with two different issues: “Blik Kiev” and “Blik Vostok” Launch of health magazine “Libertatea Sanatate” Ana Nita becomes Editor-in-Chief of daily newspaper “Libertatea” Start of casting show “mobileact” on Sat.1 (Schweiz) Lucian Romascanu named Executive Director of the Boulevard and Sports Newspapers division Cristina Ghelesel named CFO/Member of the Executive Board of Ringier Publishing Romania Publication of “Nemzeti Sport Extra – Schumacher” Launch of recipe magazine “Libertatea pentru femei – Retete” Rudolf Lisibach named General Manager of Swiss Printers AG Didier Pradervand becomes Editor-in-Chief of special interest magazine “Montres Passion” Launch of horoscope magazine “Libertatea pentru femei – Horoscop” Publication of “Nemzeti Sport Extra – Puskas”

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Epilogue Frank A. Meyer In the internet world, nothing is impossible. There is room for everything, from the big picture on Google Earth to infinitesimal concerns like searching for a lost kitten in a local area chatroom. As if by magic, Google Earth puts on your screen the local neighborhood where your kitty got lost. The world at our beck and call – what more could anyone want? Not only is the internet a door to the world, it lets us participate in it: The world stripped bare and we can be bare in it. That world is made up of zillions of bits of information. Infinite probably best describes the wealth of information available on the net. But what’s its value? Online alchemists are turning binary bits into gold, making dotcom companies again worth billions. The world of the media is vast and defies human understanding. Which makes the world of the net no less immeasurable and incomprehensible. Just as total knowledge and information are beyond human ken, individual users, too, cannot get a handle on the entire world open to them on the internet. Is there anyone who can supply that much-sought handle? There is: the journalist, whose craft is information and knowledge. In the enlightened world, journalism is the oldest profession because it conveys that very enlightenment. The same is true of the internet: It takes journalists to imbue it with enlightenment. What do journalists do? They select. By choosing one bit of information and knowledge over another, they assign a value to it. Journalists grade reality by winnowing out what matters less and giving meaning to the heretofore ungraded, and therefore invisible, bits of knowledge and information. Journalists also add context to news and knowledge by putting it in historical context and showing links to other fields of knowledge. Not to mention that they make information come alive and tell it as a story. Journalistic craftsmanship shapes fragments found on the net into a whole that readers can understand. In short, journalism is a thinking man’s craft. Nor do the millions of bloggers out there render journalists redundant, on the contrary, they make them even more irreplaceable because the zeroes-and-ones-based internet world is infinite and therefore unreal in and of itself. But most of all, it is a one-dimensional, flat world, a mere disc. Journalists, on the other hand, describe and thus shape their chosen material and reproduce it in story form. They sculpt reality, using imagination to create accessible images. This is admittedly a daunting goal that calls for journalists who are educated, are endowed with multidimensional knowledge and are imbued with a passion for ever more wide-ranging, deeper learning. They must be highly skilled in the use of language. Not e-mail jargon, not SMS-newspeak, not the endless babble of internet chatrooms. No, the language of journalism must be rooted in literature, the terse prose of a Hemingway, the sublime poetry of a Shakespearean sonnet, the stark realism of Steinbeck, the fearlessness and political honesty of a Solzhenitsyn. A love of language and writing is essential if journalists are to survive the age of the internet. It so happens that the art of writing is journalism’s core competence. This makes journalists order-creating intellectuals, practicing educators and witty storytellers to an information-besieged internet world. They cut wide swaths through the dense

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jungle of otherwise incomprehensible space and time, turning out stories that can be understood and savored. What is a newspaper? It is the stage on which journalists present our world and times. Where, much like a florist, they create colorful bouquets from blossoms good and evil that readers behold with understanding and often joy. Newspaper editors are part of a club that includes among its members the readers who seek and trust their editorial judgment, a club that aids in their understanding and appreciation of what’s going on in the world. What, then, is the fundamental difference between newspapers and the internet? On the internet we search, in newspapers, we find. Picasso on his creativity: “I don’t look, I find.” Finding is the spark of human growth. Children don’t seek language; they find it – in a mother’s words. And to find, one has to be able to ask the question that makes it possible to find. Because what we journalists do every day is to help people find, not what they seek necessarily, but what they need.

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About the artist Richard Phillips Beatrix Ruf, curator of the Ringier Collection and Director of Kunsthalle Zurich In his works in general and for this report in particular, Richard Phillips makes use of the iconic quality of pictures which the media and art use daily – each according to its own agenda. In his paintings and his works executed on paper, the artist potentiates an ambivalence inherent in these pictures, in which he takes their tempting beauty and ambiguity to the breaking point. He translates pictures he found, which deal with the marketability of man, his wishes, ideas, actions, identity, sexuality, politics, power and death, into drawings and then, masterful paintings executed in an elaborate process. They deal with the ambivalence with which the pictures influence us, our opinions, attitudes and intentions. The pictures Richard Phillips assembles here are the drafts for a group of 12 large-format paintings, which the artist will present to the public for the first time in April 2007 in Los Angeles. One of these pictures is not reproduced in this annual report. He created the report in the form of a book that reflects the esthetics of the 1930s: a time which, together with the power takeover by national socialism in Germany, was forced to experience the absorption of esthetic, mostly avant-garde cultural inventions. With this series of pictures, Phillips draws parallels with political content and events which are repeated in history and whose content and forms of appearance we know, which, however, can return in different ‘clothes’ or different packaging. With deliberately ambiguous pictures Phillips shows that they can be used for reflection or manipulation, that esthetics has to again and again be questioned as to their ethics, and that the pictures in art must deliberately refuse a simplified reception as entertainment to put in motion a difference in perception. Richard Phillips’ pictures also always deal with the relationship between art and the pictures of the world and are therefore objective. In so doing they also represent a criticism of art for art’s sake, particularly abstraction in art as an easily consumable ‘taste’. The following pictures combine art-historic references with pictures of the media and touch the entirety of our worldly paradises and hells. “Isa” was taken from a 1970s magazine. Phillips combines a reference to German artist Isa Genzken, whose works and commentary address the world with merciless frankness, with marketable femininity – the glamorous, confrontational attitude of pop and counter culture. “Vanitas”. Repetitions of content are a constant in art history. Phillips’s interpretation of a 16th century painting reflects the transience of material values and the vanity of human endeavor. “Untitled (Fuck You)” is based on a T-shirt ad from the 1970s. Phillips focuses on the contradiction inherent in the T-shirt’s aggressive slogan and the model’s provocative gesture in confronting the viewer’s erotically inspired gaze. “Tom Cruise” is about the effect on innocence of the media’s and the public’s fascination with celebrities. Phillips copied the attempt of a 12-year-old boy to render the most realistic image he could, in the hope of achieving a degree of intimacy, promised by the media, with a superstar. In this case one of dubious worth as a role model – as attested not only by Cruise’s links with Scientology. “Awake Into Myth” is about idealization in art and the media. Ideal beauty, perfect bodies pure in form, can lead to racism, exclusion of those who are different and thus to war, aggression and genocide. Phillips’s reference to the idealization of the body in art and the

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media, remindful of Leni Riefenstahl’s images, points to the dangerous link between beauty and power, propaganda and the control of archetypical images, which is just as apparent in current conflicts between nations. “L.R.A.” is based on a photograph of a child soldier in the Ugandan rebel army of Joseph Koni, which he has been leading against the Southern parts of Uganda since 1991. Koni acts in the name of God and is treated as holy by his followers in the "Lord’s Resistance Army" (LRA). Children are forced to join him as "disciples". They live under cruelest conditions in concentration like camps and are trained as killers and slaves to serve Koni's plans. Currently the leader of the southern tribes Museveni is supported by the Americans and Koni is supported by the Sudanese government, because he helps its fight against the Sudanese rebels are supported by the Ugandan government. Basically a fight of Christians versus Islamics. It reminds us of the complex manipulations made possible by the dangerous mix of politics, religion and mysticism in past times and today. “Death in June (After Don Ashby)” shows model Querelle Jansen in designer Marc Jacobs’ Marc by Marc fashion campaign of 2006. The title of the work is also the name of a neo-folk band. By replacing the signature Marc Jacobs lapel pins with the skull and crossbones of SS uniforms, Phillips protests against the thoughtless use of the symbols of certain subcultures of the past, against the decontextualization of symbols, and the complex issue of resurrecting old ones. “Chastity” makes use of a photo in a porn magazine published the 1970s. The chastity belt, a means of denial and control of sexual access, bears an image of Adam and Eve, symbols of the loss of innocence and God’s will. The work speaks of the control of morals, the imposition of chastity and the duality of a symbolic garment that alludes as much to erotic underwear as it does to contemporary society’s demand for control. “Free Base” is merely the next logical step in the debate of morals and control taking place in many societies, while at the same time ‘illustrating’ the negative aspects of sex and drugs. The artist investigates the interplay of ecstasy, morals, the entertainment industry, the drug trade and sex slavery, and their complex ties to politics and trade. “Pre-Banality” is an accumulation of contradictory references ranging from feminist body liberation and erotic ambiguity to the Jeff Koons sculpture entitled “Ushering in Banality” (1980). By toying with an art ideal, Phillips encourages misreading of his own, as well as other works, based on this theme. “Hell”, the last work in the series, depicts the underworld and continues where the major works of art portraying human existence leave off. By using as his starting point a detail in one of art’s key historical works, Fra Angelico’s “Last Judgement” (c. 1450), the artist places his work in the long line of major paintings that make up the history of art.

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Beatrix Ruf in conversation with Richard Phillips For your annual report project you appropriated the design used in a Tilman Riemenschneider book from the 1930s. What prompted your choice? The choice of the Tilman Riemenschneider book evolved from an inquiry into the relationships between the social political contexts within which the creation of art history takes place and how its creation legitimizes or obfuscates the agendas of dominant political power structures. Why pick Fraktura as a typeface? The choice of Fraktura was inspired by original font used in the Tilman Riemenschneider book. You have an interest in the link between history and the present. Would you care to elaborate? As an artist living in the United States, it is impossible to escape the impression that our government is conducting a systematic campaign to generate among its own people a constant state of exception under which the rule of law under the constitution is indefinitely suspended while the government engages in criminal acts overseas in an undefined war of its own making. Our government enforces this state of exception by terrorizing its own people, by spying on them, lying to them, legislating away their constitutional rights, sending off young men and women to lay down their lives for the profit of companies owned by our leaders and their business associates, at the same time destroying our middle class and devastating the environment. Yet there continues to be art that glorifies the war economy and culture. Art is never exempt from this reality. The links of art to its surroundings are unavoidable. The 1930s art history book that documents the art used to justify a political party’s persecution of social and cultural warfare in the run up to World War II, while people stood by and profited, is acutely similar to our situation today. The design of the Ringier annual report as a history of the media company’s business dealings in the course of a year by means of my art – created in 2006 – seeks to show how a physical and conceptual narrative of visual art and design can be experienced through the tactile and stylistic attributes of another historical instrument created at an important juncture in European history. The visual experience of the report no longer includes illustrative images accompanying the annual report. Nor is the design intended to evoke a progressive determinism represented as progress or an intervention or collaboration in the traditional sense. The connections between company, esthetic, design, and socio-political histories, coupled to the absence of any representation of contemporary life, was by no means self-evident. I found that within this format the way to represent contemporary life would be through the presentation of my drawings at the end of the report. In this location the drawings would mirror contemporary media’s absorption of data through an historical aperture. Why did you accept the commission to design the annual report of a media company whose annual reports have in the past ten years been designed by other noted artists? After studying the ways in which the previous artists worked with the report I felt that by accepting the commission I would have an opportunity to change the way art, within the context of media, represents and functions as no more than entertainment and décor. My

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concept was to use the complete appropriation of the art history book and apply it to the manifestation of the report the same way I would use the appropriation of an image for the making of my paintings and drawings. This meant not treating the annual accumulation of information for the report as “image” content and economic data, but instead interlocking it with a historical communication of a consequential past. The individual artisanship of binding, typography, printing, printing stock and book design take on heightened roles in assigning the historical location of this appropriation and its residual, associative meanings (just as the use of traditional oil painting does in my art). The literal “art” of producing the report by means of this total appropriation of a pre-electronic medium, of an art-historical document made at a time the press was used for propaganda purposes, is in all its constituent parts the art form which has a direct bearing on the history of media concerns. This report seeks to re-humanize this art form through the re-association with individual artisan labor, thus engendering the notion of the individual versus the fascist concept of “the people”. In this inversion of the aesthetic associative equation of the fascist 1930s, the report acts against the placating dehumanization of our decidedly inhumane infotainment era. You say you selected twelve images for this annual report, on art, politics, morals, sex, celebrities, fashion, ideology, power, advertising, beauty, violence, ecstasy and war, as covered in the media in the course of a year. Does the annual report in fact touch on the use of images in the media and the possibilities of propaganda? Absolutely. All the images from various sources covering the subjects mentioned above can promote agendas that distort truth, obfuscate reality and consolidate power over individuals by creating a sense of alienation arising from an inability to identify with the subject and its context. The portrayal of stasis and ideal, in which images are treated as still life rather than “realistic representations”, evokes apathy that makes manipulation possible. Diametric inversion of meaning takes place when defiance virtually guarantees complicity. My aim is to use art to contest the validity, sanctity and acceptance of images as conveyors of meaning stripped of consequence – propaganda, in other words. Where did you find and how did you select the images you worked from? Sources included vintage magazines from the 1960s and 1970s, some of which I’ve had in my possession for years but did not use at the time. I also selected images from internet news media, as well as digital photographs of a 16th century painting and a reproduction of a 15th century painting found on an online art gallery. What do you believe is the role of media and art images, and their instrumentalization by entertainment systems? In each case and depending on the power structure that harnesses it, the image may convert and revert back from and to its source, be it the media or art. Instrumentalization is constant and inherent. One possibility is that the logic governing the reading of images may be turned back on itself to interrupt its otherwise inevitable march toward flattened infotainment use. This delay may allow a split-second associative diversion away from obeying propagandistic directives. Art images are just as subject to this kind of instrumentalization and must take into account their own potential for exploitation.

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The 1930s design risks your work being associated with this esthetic. What’s more, you are asking the publishing house to risk being misread. What discussions do you hope will ensue? The association of 1930s aesthetics with my work is meant to, as I stated above, remove the sense of simply documenting the year’s accomplishments in the annual report and decorating it by means of an “art” or “design” intervention. My aim was to base physical, tactile, and visual components on a pre-existing model with specific associations with this important period in recent European history and its inextricable connection to our current socio-political climate. I am certainly not inviting the publishing house to be misread regarding the referenced period. I am instead asking it not to misread the role of artists working in contemporary society. When I was first offered this project I thought of collaborating with the company and using its image resources to create a view of contemporary society by appropriating images and inserting them alongside the report as many artists have done before me. But considerable deliberation left me disenchanted with the artist’s role as decorator or “art” performer whose function it was to modify the company’s image, destined subsequently to be misread millions of times. Instead, I radically rethought the project and altered the role of the media firm’s accumulated representation and that of the artists. Conceptually, the report as a whole would be an artwork in both form and content. To be restricted to supporting the articulation of consecutive history was the first barrier to be broken. In a sense I therefore defaulted on one expectation. Associating the form of the report with a pre-existing art model from the 1930s was the next step in re-contextualizing the history of slash art offered by the media in a single format by alluding to an era in which the freedoms enjoyed by society were quickly eroding. The historical graphs and charts emphasize further how information can be taken out of context and used to change the meaning of contemporary events by evoking part of our aesthetic memory. My drawings depicting contemporary images of erotic beauty, child exploitation, celebrity worship, fashion models, war and chastity, represent the end point of this artist’s relationship with contemporary media and an inquiry into its ability to be absorbed with or without meaning. The collaboration between artist and media corporation in the production of an annual report raises the point of the artist’s role within the larger context of society vis-à-vis a dominant form of communication. By applying my working process as an artist to the totality of the project I hope to delve deeper into art’s uneasy relationship with the powers surrounding it, and to examine the structures that mediate this relationship. The parallel, well documented evidence found in the German press, art establishment, and consumer public in 1936 as it slipped into fascism through apathy and inaction while other societies stood by, unambiguously puts into perspective any attempt in the US and Europe at understanding and discussing art and the role of the media. You have stated your interest in the phenomenon of misread images. What kind of images can potentially trigger a more complex reading? By misreading I meant the disruption of literal cognitive assumptions in viewing an image in or out of context. More complex readings of images can be gained using many different methods. I have chosen to isolate those images that carry the associative weight of larger collective meanings. For example, the image of the twelve-year-old Ugandan child soldier portrays both the child’s psychological and physical exploitation. The two cannot be reconciled – the complexity being in the simultaneous portrayal of both. Likewise, the redrawn portrait by a twelve-year-old of the most powerful entertainer alive, Tom Cruise, is

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not only a redrawing of a tribute to a star who made his fame portraying violent criminals and war veterans, it also illustrates the unbridgeable gap between this full-of-hope rendering of a star and the entertainer’s media power. Can the annual report’s images resist esthetic contextualization? How can they inspire discussions of the complex relationship between historical fact and today’s political powers and society? The images are not intended to resist being seen in this context. Instead they are meant to disrupt and expose the dangers inherent in accepting esthetic cues as stable communicators of meaning. The report’s images become the visual outlet or documented escape valve from the structure of logic and accounting portraying the company’s economic year. As the data is woven into a historically and esthetically appropriated document with associative meanings, it cannot help but put pressure on art’s altruism or, in this case, the role the drawings play as part of the report. One potential discussion point is the responsibility of society and the individual in the face of growing malevolent forces and whether the power to stop them, by direct involvement with art or public media, should in fact be exercised. Richard Phillips was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1962. He lives and works in New York.

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Table of illustrations IX Isa, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 60.96 x 60.96 cm X Vanitas, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 60.96 x 41.76 cm XI Untitled (Fuck You), 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 60.96 å 38.73 cm XII Tom Cruise, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 56.83 å 40.64 cm XIII Awake Into Myth, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 60.96 å 40.16 cm XIV L. R. A., 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 56.83 å 53.97 cm XV Death in June (After Don Ashby), 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 56.83 å 37.78 cm XVI Chastity, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 56.83 å 42.86 cm XVII Free Base, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 49.53 å 59.37 cm XVIII Pre Banality, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 56.67 å 34.77 cm XIX Hell, 2006 Charcoal and chalk on grey toned paper 49.53 å 62.86 cm

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Ringier Annual Report 2006 Richard Philips