Sweden-based service provider Telia has posted solid first-quarter results, with a strong performance from its sizeable TV and media arm.
The TV and media unit posted revenue growth of 3%, with pay TV up 10% and advertising-supported free TV down 1%.
Combined with a 3% reduction in operating costs, the numbers added up to a return to positive EBITDA for TV and media for the first quarter.
TV revenues for the quarter were SEK1.9 billion, up 2.8% on a like-for-like basis, while adjusted EBITDA was SEK120 million.
SVOD subscriptions increased by 22.8% over the year to 764,000. However, SVOD numbers fell by 25,000 in the first quarter following what the company described as “a very strong intake” in Q4 pf 140,000.
“TV is a clear growth lever, and we are seeing an excellent increase in share of viewing on both linear and digital platforms in Sweden as well as Finland,” said CEO Alison Kirkby, citing the company’s 49.8% commercial viewing share in Sweden and a 36% increase of time spent on its TV4 Play AVOD platform.
In Sweden, Telia had 935,000 TV subscribers as of the end of the year, up 8.7% yearon-year, despite a 2.1% dip in broadband customers. In the fourth quarter, TV subs increased by 6,000, exactly matching a 6,000 decline in broadband numbers.
In Finland, the company’s TV base declined by 0.5% year-on-year to 590,000, while in Norway, TV numbers were down 1.9% to 468,000. In Denmark, the company’s small TV base grew by 8,000 in the quarter to 29,000.
In the Baltic region, the TV base in Lithuania grew by 2.8% to 253,000 year-on-year but was flat quarter-on-quarter. In Estonia, TV numbers were down by 1.9% to 207,000, with a 1,000 decline in the first quarter.,
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