Austria Press Agency`s CEO: For the national and international media markets 2011 was another year of abundant changes and challenges

APA - Austria Press Agency is the country`s national news agency and Austria`s leading information service provider. It is owned by Austrian newspapers and the national broadcasting service ORF.
PA-Group is comprised of the APA news agency and nine subsidiaries and operates in business segments including the news agency, photo agency, information management and information technology.
APA`s editorial departments supply real-time news services in word, image, graphics, audio and video formats and produce content for print, web, screens, tablets, smartphones and much more. The subsidiaries provide distribution, research and knowledge management services as well as information technology solutions. APA-Group targets professional users (information managers, PR experts) in the media, politics and government offices as well as business.
Founded in 1849, APA today employs more than 400 people.
The agency`s Chief Executive Officer is Mr. Peter Kropsch who enjoys close international cooperation and good personal relations with the Director General of Azerbaijan State Telegraph Agency (AzerTAc).
In the 2011 annual report of the APA-Group, Mr. Kropsch says discussions concerning the common currency as well as impending national insolvencies dampened the mood on the markets relevant for APA.
"Against this background APA-Group generated 4.3 percent growth."
He notes: "In 2011 APA-Group generated revenues of EUR 65.37 million compared to EUR 62.66 million in 2010. The result from ordinary business activities was EUR 3.96 million, putting it EUR 1.19 million above that of the previous year (EUR 2.77 million). However, the first few months of 2012 clearly indicate that a sense of long-term uncertainty is prevalent in private as well as public enterprise - this is where the debt crisis and the resulting austerity packages have left their mark. Experience shows this development will impact the media directly. For APA this means another year of intensified efforts and the optimisation of processes in order to grow in this business period as well."
The APA CEO says: "For the national and international media markets 2011 was another year of abundant changes and challenges. However much the economic situation is fairly satisfactory in most areas of business, the dynamism of the markets, change in user habits and, first and foremost, the continued pace of technological progress require an inordinate scale of commitment."
"Last year the dominant subject concerning innovation was mobile publishing. Media companies boosted their investments in apps, whose development was driven primarily by the rapid spread of tablet PCs. Ready for marketing in 2010, APA-IT`s white label app for displaying pages from newspapers on tablets (digital replicas) was quickly optimised and developed into two new versions. For the Austrian dailies APA-IT is now market leader in this area."
Mr. Kropsch touches upon the launch of a new mobile "baby":
"Austria-Kiosk, a digital newspaper stand which APA-Group developed for consumers together with the Austrian Newspaper Association (VÖZ), went online. All of the Austrian dailies as well as numerous journals and magazines can be accessed as an electronic paper in return for a fee. The service`s national focus in its presentation of the Austrian media landscape on is unparalleled in Europe."
"APA-OnlineManager, whose development into a production ready database was begun in 2010, performed well last year due particularly to a sophisticated imaging tool that provides improved support to editorial workflows. Furthermore, APA`s central research platform was optimised for touch. Thus AOMmobile is also easy to use on new tablets and smartphones."
The APA chief emphasizes the importance of social media: "Social media continues to be a defining theme, for our clients in business and politics as well. The growing influence of these channels on company and product communication requires intensive monitoring to make decisions about current activity and future strategies. In fall 2011 APA-DeFacto launched its social media monitoring service, which not only supplies the relevant hits, but now handles assessments and thematic clustering as well."
Mr. Kropsch predicts "the economic climate in 2012 will be similar to that of last year - challenges arising from ongoing and long-term changes in all areas of the information business will be a constant companion".
APA`s CEO, who is interested in expanding cooperation with AzerTAc, expressed his desire to attend the International Humanitarian Forum due to take place in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku this October.
APA`s political editor Viola Bauer and economics editor Sigrid Brandstätter were part of a delegation of Austrian journalists who visited Shaki, a city in northwestern Azerbaijan, this May. They visited historic monuments, landmarks and must-see places in the city. The journalists said they liked Shaki very much: "Shaki, which offers a mix of tradition and modernity, impressed us very much. Its picturesque nature, ancient history and hospitable people encourage us to write about what we saw there and visit the city again."



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