MTG Reports Record Q1 Sales


STOCKHOLM: Modern Times Group (MTG) has reported its sales in the first quarter were up to record levels, with particular growth in Nordic pay TV and free TV in emerging markets.

Overall, net sales were up 1 percent year-on-year at constant exchange rates to SEK3.7 billion ($428.6 million). Net income was SEK318 million ($36.7 million) compared to SEK159 million ($18.3 million) in the same quarter last year.

Growth in the pay-TV Nordic, free-TV emerging markets and MTG Radio businesses was offset by lower free-TV Scandinavian sales, which primarily reflected the higher sales in Q1 2014 during the Winter Olympics. In the free-TV Scandinavia market, sales were down 8 percent, with lower sales in Sweden but higher sales in Denmark and Norway. For pay-TV Nordic, sales were up 4 percent, driven by the expansion of Viaplay. Within free-TV emerging markets, sales were up 9 percent, with growth in all but one of the eight country operations. For pay-TV emerging markets, sales were up 22 percent at constant rates. The free-TV results were led by sales gains in the Baltics, Czech Republic and Bulgaria, and the pay-TV figures were bolstered by the consolidation of Trace in July 2014.

Looking ahead, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG's president and CEO, said, "We have now almost finalized the annual upfront agreements for our free-TV businesses, with price increases in most markets reflecting TV’s unique reach and superior return on investment. Viaplay continues to grow its subscriber base and usage levels, while our channel packages are more broadly available than ever before. We have also added new programming content or extended valuable existing rights to ensure that we have the best possible entertainment offerings in each market. We continue to face adverse FX headwinds that are inflating our U.S. dollar content costs in the Nordics particularly, and also reducing the results from our Russian ruble denominated operations. We are taking actions across the group to offset these effects as much as possible."