MTG to build content business, emerging markets pay TV outperforms expectations

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann

Jørgen Madsen Lindemann

Modern Times Group says it plans to build its content and distribution business having already acquired UK sales house DRG and Norwegian producer Novemberfilm.

The pan-European broadcaster reported half-year results yesterday and president and in his review of the six months to end-June, CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann noted the creation of the company’s new digital platform MTGx and went on to speak about the plans for the wider content division. “We have also added to our MTG Studios content and distribution business by acquiring DRG and Novemberfilm in the quarter, and are committed to further building this key part of MTG, he said.

In the results, the company said its pay TV channels in the emerging markets have performed above earlier expectations in the first half of the year — they had been expected to breakeven – and added that Group profitability is still expected to increase in 2014.

“Our Emerging Markets pay-TV operations also reported healthy growth in the quarter, and the higher than anticipated profitability levels did include some positive one-off, timing and currency related items in the quarter,” Lindemann said. We will therefore outperform our previous profitability expectations but we are also continuing to invest as planned in the further development of the business.”

The company added that its Scandinavian free-TV operations reported ‘stable’ revenues in the period and the Nordic pay TV business performed in line with previous guidance.

Half-year revenues came in at SEK6.8 billion (€790 million), a 1% year-on-year increase. Pre-tax profit was SEK1 billion compared with SEK1.2 million in the corresponding period a year earlier.