Published: 11.40 Europe/London, April 19, 2011

Viasat ended the first quarter with 1,048,000 subscribers to its pay-TV services in the Nordic region. Although this was 35,000 more than a year earlier, it actually lost 9,000 in the quarter.

Year-on-year growth was driven by premium subscriber intake on third party networks – up from 343,000 to 394,000 in the year to March 31, 2011 – though the latter figure was unchanged on three months earlier.

Significantly, the take up of Viasat’s recordable digital set-top box ViasatPlus (163,000 at the end of March), Multiroom (237,000) and HD (232,000) continued to grow impressively.

Net sales for the Nordic pay-TV operation in Q1 amounted to SEK1,139 million (€127.3 million), or 4% more than a year earlier, while operating income was up by 12% to SEK215 million.

Meanwhile in its pay-TV emerging markets portfolio, the number of premium DTH subscribers at the end of Q1 stood at 254,000, or 30,000 more than a year earlier, thanks to strong growth in Ukraine.

The number of basic DTH subscribers stood at 184,000 (109,000 in Q1 2010) and mini pay subscriptions 58,197,00 (44,335,000).

However, net sales at SEK215 million were 2% lower than a year earlier and operating income, at SEK7 million, 82% lower.

Modern Times Group (MTG) net sales in Q1 amounted to SEK3,125 million, or 2% more than a year earlier, while its total net income stood at SEK490 million, up 63% year-on-year.