Ringier CEO Marc Walder spoke of the best year since Ringier committed itself to digital transformation.
Last year's operating profit was thus even higher than the pre-Corona level: in 2019, it had still amounted to 114.1 million Swiss francs.
Sales increased last year from CHF 953.7 million to CHF 965.3 million, according to the annual report published on Monday. However, Ringier did not yet reach the pre-Corona level. In 2019, sales were 984.8 million.
73 percent earned with digital business
Ringier already earned 73 percent of its operating profit last year from its digital business, primarily from marketplaces and media platforms.
After the difficult Corona year 2020, Ringier is now back on track for growth, said Ringier CEO Marc Walder at an event for employees on Monday. For him, 2021 is a "record year". It is the best year since Ringier committed itself to digital transformation in 2008.
It was also an important year for journalism, according to Walder. "Media have never been more important than in these complicated times." After the pandemic, there is now also a war.
Reliable and trustworthy information is more important than ever. Ringier wants to take advantage of this tailwind, which it feels and can also measure. Ringier still owns 110 media brands despite online marketplaces and other revenue streams.
Ringier wants to conquer the metaverse
Walder described the next big step as the leap into Metaverse, the digital space in which avatars meet, play and, not least, shop. For Walder, Metaverse is the new social media, so to speak, and Ringier absolutely has to be a part of it.
He urged the employees to make their own first experiences in the metaverse in order to be able to prepare for the future. Walder did not yet present any concrete projects. However, a presence for Ringier would be suitable for the real estate platforms and the media brands, for example.
The viewing of an advertised apartment could take place in the Metaverse, for example. The View in turn would be seen and consumed within the digital world. "This has huge potential," Walder continued. He himself has held one session in the Metaverse so far and is thrilled.
For publisher Michael Ringier, the Metaverse avatars are still "somewhat childish little figures," as he admitted at the employee information session. He could not yet quite imagine whether it would really work, but would be happy to be convinced otherwise. (sda).