NENT Group Unveils Cost-Cutting Measures


NENT Group is implementing measures to cut costs by approximately SEK 700 million ($68 million) due to the impact of COVID-19 on its 2020 financials.

The Scandinavian media group is expecting its revenues to be impacted by reduced sports coverage as a result of the postponement or cancellation of sports events, lower advertising demand and the postponement of content production orders.

In addition to cost-cutting measures, NENT Group’s board of directors will not propose the previously indicated cash dividend of SEK 7 per share for 2019 and is axing any executive long-term incentive plans for 2020.

Cost cuts include reductions in programming and production spend, the deferral or cancellation of any non-core or non-essential development projects and decreased sales and marketing spending. There are no plans to reduce permanent staffing levels, but freelance and consultant costs are being reduced and new hires are only being made for essential positions. All non-essential travel and entertainment have been canceled. “The measures being taken are intended to protect staff, business continuity and the future potential of the operations when the current crisis comes to an end.”

Viaplay, a key sports coverage provider in the Nordics, has reduced its sports package prices given the cancellations of games worldwide. NENT will not report media rights costs for postponed sports events in its income statement until such time as they take place and will not make any new payments for postponed sports rights until they resume. The company expects to receive compensation for any sports events that are canceled.

“This is the third announcement in the past week about how we are quickly and proactively responding to the impact of the coronavirus on our business,” said Anders Jensen, president and CEO of NENT Group. “We always work to stay ahead of both opportunities and challenges, and we are doing the same now. This is an unprecedented situation that is evolving every day, but let me repeat that we remain in good shape and our operations are running with limited interruption, which is all credit to the fantastic resilience and agility of our platforms and people.

“Our top priorities are the wellbeing of our employees and continuing to deliver the best possible value to our customers. The measures that we are now taking are all about ensuring the long-term health and potential of what drives our business—our people, our content and our technology. The viewing, listening and streaming KPIs for our entertainment services are very encouraging, as people spend more and more time with us.”