Responsible Business Practice
Customer experience and satisfaction
Development and provision of services
Deliberate designing of customer experience and increasing satisfaction are important in the media business primarily for two reasons.
With the diversification of new information consumption channels, the role of a uniform customer journey is diminishing. Each contact between the Group and its customer may be different. A need to reach new solutions will increase in the changing environment.
The Estonian media market is small, different media outlets generally cover the same topics, therefore customer communication and creation of convenient solutions for customers is an opportunity to set oneself apart from competitors.
Data protection
Ekspress Group companies manage almost entirely the channel for creating integrated customer experience ranging from content creation to print quality, availability and customer service. Each group company that is in direct contract with customers collects feedback from them independently.
Measurement and results of customer satisfaction
Ekspress Group companies manage almost entirely the channel for creating integrated customer experience ranging from content creation to print quality, availability and customer service. Each group company that is in direct contract with customers collects feedback from them independently.
We need to keep pace with consumer expectations and these expectations are being managed by global technology giants that are able to quickly come out with various applications. Our products need to be as good as the applications coming out of Silicon Valley because today’s consumers compare us with them. The consumers use any kind of technology in the global market and it develops really quickly. We need to be able to develop our digital applications just as quickly.
- Kaspar Hanni, Development Director of AS Ekspress Grupp

Ekspress Group companies manage almost entirely the channel for creating integrated customer experience ranging from content creation to print quality, availability and customer service.

Ekspress Meedia monitors customer satisfaction with the entire paid content, covering digital subscriptions and single-article purchases. The customer net promoter score (NPS), i.e. how likely the readers will recommend a product of Ekspress Meedia to their friends and family was 45.63 in 2020.
Printall prints most of the Group’s periodicals and is thus an important link in shaping the satisfaction of readers of paper periodicals. For provision of a higher quality service, the company looks for ways to further prevent occurrence of customer complaints.
The objective of Express Post is to deliver periodicals to customers on time (7.30 a.m.) and to keep the rate of delays or complaints below 1% of the total home delivery circulation of Ekspress Group. In 2020, the ratio was 0.77% (2019: 0.85%, 2018: 0.73%; 2017: 1.05%; 2016: 1.83%).
Development of the society and the sector

As the leading media group, Ekspress Grupp is aware of its role in the development of the economies and societies of all of its home markets. The Group’s media publications are the key information sources and public information space promoters in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

We raise the topics of importance to the society, draw attention to them, talk honestly and openly about them.

Ekspress Group companies contribute to the society at three levels through:

Creating professional and reliable journalistic content
Contributing to the development of the media sector through public speeches, professional associations and educational institutions
Supporting the society’s long-term development through community projects and relevant support activities

In order to increase young people’s awareness of journalism-related career choices and opportunities, the company actively collaborates with various educational institutions in all three countries: Tartu University and Tallinn University in Estonia, Vilnius University in Lithuania, and University of Latvia, Stockholm School of Economics, Riga Stradins University and Vidzeme University in Latvia.

Ekspress Grupp grants Hans H. Luik scholarship that employees can use to take refresher and other training courses not related to their professional field of activity. In 2020, there were two application rounds and scholarships were granted to 29 employees.

Our periodicals cover themes topics that are socially important

In 2020, Ekspress Meedia devised socially important focus themes to be tied with the media house’s major trademarks and to be used primarily in marketing activities during at least the next three years.

The focus themes of the periodicals of Ekspress Meedia:

Delfi – reduction in the number of traffic casualties
Eesti Ekspress – reduction in the number of domestic violence incidents
Eesti Naine – mental health
Eesti Päevaleht – environment and sustainability
Maaleht – promotion of rural life

The following topics and initiatives are worth highlighting in 2020.

In March, Ekspress Meedia launched a powerful social campaign #minapüsinkodus, within the framework of which Tanel Padar, Elina Nechayeva, Karl-Erik Taukar, Stefan, Märt Avandi and Jaan Pehk, Kadri Voorand and others gave virtual home concerts.
In addition, at the peak of the corona crisis, Kroonika arranged a video concert “Estonia Thanks its Heroes” where Estonian musicians and President Kersti Kaljulaid paid tribute to the people working on the front line of the corona battle
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The international initiative Debunk that was launched two years ago by Delfi Lithuania to expose fake information expanded into Estonia and Latvia in 2020. In Estonia, a new special environment was launched for decoding fake information called Valeinfo: paljastatud where every week the journalists of the investigative editorial staff of Ekspress Meedia publish articles about fake information cases for which there is a reason to suspect that they are part of deliberate subversion activities. Twice a month, a special fake information podcast is also broadcast.
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During the year, Ekspress Meedia arranged several major events: the concert of Arvo Pärt's children’s songs in Alexela concert hall to the audience of 1200 people, Baltic e-Commerce Forum 2020, ice-hockey game with HC Jokerit, Ruja’s concert “Stainless World“ and the only performance of Maria Faust’s piece “Maarja missa“(Maria’s Mass Liturgy) dedicated to all the women who have fallen victim to domestic violence that was performed at St. John’s Church in Tallinn.
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In 2020, Delfi also continued with its successful social campaign “Don’t Read While Driving” that calls upon people not to use their smart devices while driving and draws road users’ attention to the dangers of phone addiction. Delfi cooperated with the Police and Border Guard Board that handed out stickers with respective messages to the drivers during their raids, and also with the so-called good intention ambassadors, for example Ott Lepland.
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On 10 September, the corona conference of Eesti Päevaleht was held where the Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, medical chief of Saaremaa hospital Edward Laane, head of the Health Board's emergency medical department Arkadi Popov, Chairman of the Management Board of Tallink Paavo Nõgene and others talked about the corona lessons.
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On 27 October, Maaleht in cooperation with the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce selected the farmer of the year. This year the winner was a woman – 37-year-old Kaja Piirfeldt who is the owner of the private limited company Remmelgamaa engaged in dairy production and farming, and who is the head of the four-member work family. In addition, she is a vocational teacher of livestock farming at Järvamaa Vocational Training Centre and head the non-profit organisation Eesti Noortalunikud (Estonian Young Farmers).
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Ekspress Meedia did not traditionally make Christmas gifts this year but donated this amount to the cancer fund Kingitud Elu.
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For the third consecutive year, Delfi Latvia organised a charity donation campaign “The Strengths and Strong People” which collected donations for the families who need to care for their sick relatives. This year, the importance of home services for such families was in the focus. A total of EUR 78 855.81 was raised with the charity campaign.
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In collaboration with WeAreVery, Delfi Latvia arranged its second public speaking conference UZ:Runa. Approximately 400 participants took part in the conference in March.
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Delfi Latvia was the key media partner of the school anti-bullying social campaign “Neklusē”. Within the framework of the campaign a mobile application is being developed which the school students can use to notify of an abuse against them and seek psychological help. Training sessions can also be arranged for teachers, students and parents related to school bullying and its prevention.
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The programme that was launched in Lithuania in 2019 to fight dissemination of fake new continued its strong expansion. It was widely covered in Google and the programme is one of the nominees of the fact-checking success stories in Europe.
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The social campaign “Don’t Squint Your Eyes” („NežVAIRUOK!“) launched in 2019 together with the insurance company ERGO also continued in the financial year. Its purpose is to draw attention to the use of mobile phones while driving. In 2020, creative people were engaged in the campaign and they were invited to participate in the poster competition related to this topic, the prize fund was EUR 1000.
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The collaboration project of Delfi and Lithuanian Junior Achievement continued to take economics and entrepreneurship courses to as many school students as possible – it has been introduced at more than 350 schools and it has reached up to 20 000 students. The youth portal “I Know Everything” (Žinau viską) shares information about financial literacy, study and traineeship opportunities, volunteer work opportunities and job vacancies.
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Delfi Lithuania launched the social campaign “The Map of Cleanliness” to fight the companies and people who pollute the environment.
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Our employees

Attracting the best people starts with the satisfaction of current employees. This in turn depends on the wages and salaries on the one hand and an open and engaging organisational culture, career development opportunities and convenient work environment which Ekspress Group offers its employees.

Labour costs and number of employees (joint ventures 50% consolidated)
Labour costs
Average number of employees
The focus in the Group’s human resources area is primarily impacted by digitalisation, creation of synergies with the new fields of activity (real estate and ticket sales portal, organisation of events) and ongoing improvement of internal processes.
In 2020, Ekspress Grupp provided an opportunity to 58 trainees to obtain work experience in journalism, marketing and language editing.

Ekspress Grupp has a share option programme targeted at the Group’s key employees. The goal of the programme is to acknowledge and value employees working in key positions by giving them ownership interest in the company with an option of selling the shares in three years’ time. For this purpose, the Supervisory Board of AS Ekspress Grupp increased the share capital by 600 000 euros, i.e. from 17 878 104.60 euros to 18 478 104.60 euros, issuing 1 000 000 new ordinary shares with the nominal value of EUR 0.6 per share.

The Group monitors salary levels and equal treatment of employees in the salary market with the help of various market surveys. Each company can design its own system of remuneration, performance pay and benefits. Benefits include allowances and incentives to promote health and family events, and flexible working time is allowed.
Ekspress Grupp grants Hans H. Luik scholarship that employees can use to take refresher and other training courses not related to their professional field of activity. In 2020, there were two application rounds and scholarships were granted to 29 employees.
Laura Karro, the Editor-in-Chief of Nipiraamat and recipient of Hans H. Luik scholarship: “The wild year of 2020 also left a mark on training courses. I could take only three training courses out of the five I selected, because the other two were so-to-speak face-to-face meetings but under the circumstances were unfortunately cancelled due to the lack of participants. I was very satisfied with three online training courses. The most exciting of them was undoubtedly the photography course of interior design in Spanish. In addition to listening to the foreign language that I like I also gained fascinating new knowledge.
All training courses had previously been recorded; therefore, the flipside of the coin was undoubtedly the fact that we could not ask the lecturers any questions in real time. Yet, its advantage is that it is possible to review the videos, reread the materials or find important details. It seems to me that the online courses suit me well, because they enable me to take chapters at my own speed and always repeat the important issues.”
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Equal and fair treatment of all employees is crucial – there is zero tolerance of discrimination at all group companies.
Environmental impact

As a media group, the environmental impact of Ekspress Group is mainly related to printing and the activities of its printing house Printall in general, but the importance of the carbon footprint is becoming more important and requires a more thorough approach to the topic.

Both the printing house Printall as well as Ekspress Media launched a process of managing environmental effects to map the footprint of the activities of the companies in order to deliberately reduce their environmental impact and devise an action plan with appropriate objectives.

This is how printed materials of the companies that are part of Ekspress Group and those of other customers are printed at Printall:

1. Orders
Almost all of the paper periodicals of Ekspress Group are printed at Printall. In sales forecasts, group companies are trying to optimise the circulation of periodicals in order to avoid overprinting of retail issues. A significant part of Printall’s production goes to external customers of the Group, and about 62% is exported. The green printing service is especially highly valued among foreign customers.
2. Green choice
For customers, compliance with eco-friendly principles is confirmed by Printall’s environmental policy, ISO 14001 environmental management standard, the use of paper produced from sustainably managed forests is certified by the FSC® and PEFC™ Chain of Custody Chain of Custody certificates, and the production process is compliant by the Nordic EcoLabel certificate.
3. Materials
According to Printall's main suppliers, their paper is produced from wood waste that is not suitable to be used as construction timber, but instead of being used for heating enables to generate more added value as paper products – up to 40% of harvested logs are used for producing paper, contributing to the most efficient use of timber.
4. Supplies
Of the paper purchased mainly from the Nordic countries or Russia, 94% was certified or otherwise produced in an eco-friendly manner (all magazine paper is FSC and PEFC certified). To avoid environmentally harmful materials and chemicals, all suppliers need to be in compliance with the requirements of the Nordic Ecolabel certificate.
5. Production
Printing machines consume a lot of energy, which is why high-quality technology and constant innovation ensure a more efficient use of resources in the work processes. 100% of purchased electricity comes from renewable sources. Residual heat from machines is also used to heat buildings.
6. Waste
In production, about 2/10 of paper is inevitably cutting edges; the company is looking for possibilities to cut costs in other areas. 98% of all printing waste is recycled (including about 288 tonnes of paper waste a month that is reprocessed as paper). The afterburners of drying residue installed on printing machines help reduce air pollution.
Ekspress Grupp Annual Report