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    Russia's print market saw boom in 2005 - official

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian print market posted dynamic growth in 2005, a senior media official said Wednesday.

    The market of the Russian periodical press, including advertising and distribution, totaled $3.6 billion in 2005 and received over $1.2 billion in investment, Mikhail Seslavinsky, head of the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Media, told a media and publishing conference.

    "Sales stood at $2.18 billion," he said.

    Seslavinsky attributed the high rates of activity on the Russian print market, which he said was an acknowledged world leader, to the purchase and sale of media assets and subsequent establishment and development of media holdings.

    "The magazine market developed particularly rapidly last year," the official said. "Circulation reached 1.865 billion copies, more than 850 million of which were glossy editions."

    He said that although newspapers, with a circulation of 8.312 billion, had retained their market dominance, only 10-12% of dailies were profitable, whereas the others were subsidized by financial and industrial groups or federal and regional authorities.

    Seslavinsky said the retail sales market remained "archaic and opaque" in many aspects. "For instance, it is still hard to fix final retail prices for the products," he added.

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