Viaplay boosts MTG Nordics

April 28, 2014 08.39 Europe/London By Chris Dziadul

Viaplay LaptopMTG’s Nordic pay-TV division had net sales of SEK1,404 million (€154 million) in the first quarter, up 7% year on year – and at constant FX – thanks largely to Viaplay subscriber growth.

Operating costs were also up 7% year-on-year, to SEK1,249 million, due to exclusive coverage in Sweden of the Sochi Olympics and continued expansion of Viaplay.

EBIT amounted to SEK155 million (margin 11%) and the company expects to report a higher EBIT margin for this year than 2013.

Premium satellite ARPU rose to SEK5,044 (+3% year-on-year at constant FX), while HD satellite penetration increased to 65% (59%) and multi-room subscriptions were stable at 42% of the premium satellite base.

Meanwhile, in the Emerging Markets pay-TV division, MTG saw its net sales in Q1 increase by 8% year-on-year – 10% at constant FX – to SEK266 million.

Costs fell by 1% year-on-year to SEK244 million and EBIT amounted to SEK22 million (margin of 8.2%).

MTG notes that the sales growth reflected growth in the mini-pay wholesale channel business in general and the Russian market in particular.

Operating cost decreased slightly due to MTG’s 50% ownership interest in the Russian DTH platform Raduga TV being accounted for as an equity participation from January 1 this year.

It also warns of a possible drop in profits this year due to the geopolitical situation in Russia and Ukraine.

MTG’s wholesale mini pay channel business added almost 10 million subscribers year on year and almost 3 million quarter on quarter.

Overall, MTG posted net sales of SEK3,597 million in Q1, up from SEK3.209 million a year earlier.

Its total EBIT was SEK301million (SEK334 million) and net income SEK159 million (SEK334 million).