Record Results – Double Digit Sales Growth & Higher Margins
First Quarter Highlights
Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Our Q1 sales and operating profits are at record levels following 10% sales growth at constant exchange rates and a 15% increase in operating income excluding associates. All of our business segments delivered sales growth at constant exchange rates and the group operating margin increased to 14% excluding associates.
“The Scandinavian TV advertising markets have continued their strong development with price increases in each country, which enabled us to generate 11% sales growth at constant exchange rates and a 25% operating margin for our free-TV business, whilst our Nordic pay-TV Nordic business grew its sales by 10% at constant exchange rates and delivered an increased margin of 19%. The recovery in advertising spending in the emerging markets is lagging and, with the exception of the Baltics, we are yet to see a return to sustained market growth, but we are taking market share in almost all of our operating territories. At the same time, the profits that we are making in our emerging markets wholesale pay-TV channel business, which now has over 58 million subscriptions, are being reinvested into the development of our exciting new satellite platforms in Ukraine and Russia, which are developing according to plan.
“Our content is today more broadly available than ever and we have the largest geographical broadcast footprint in Europe. Our 28 free-TV channels in 11 countries, 38 pay-TV channels in 32 countries, and satellite platforms in 9 countries, attract a total of 125 million viewers. In the first quarter alone, we launched a new free-TV channel in the Czech Republic, introduced several new HD channels and produced the first live 3D broadcast of a sports event in Scandinavia, launched 4 new pay-TV channels in Africa, and fully introduced our Viaplay online on-demand video streaming service that is available to any web-connected device in Scandinavia.
“All in all then, we are on track with our strategic objectives and are maintaining our discipline of investing in long term and profitable growth. We have a healthy financial position and have used our cash flows to invest in our existing operations, expand into new areas, further reduce our already low gearing levels, and propose an increased annual dividend. We continue to review opportunities to enhance our competitive market positions and enter attractive new markets.”
The company will host a conference call today at 15.00 Stockholm local time, 14.00 London local time and 09.00 New York local time. To participate in the conference call, please dial:
Sweden: +46 (0)8 5051 3785International: +44 (0)20 7138 0826US: +1 212 444 0481
The access pin code for the conference is 5877242
To listen to the conference call online, please go to www.mtg.se.
For further information, please visit www.mtg.se, or contact:Hans-Holger Albrecht, President & Chief Executive OfficerMathias Hermansson, Chief Financial OfficerTel: +46 (0) 8 562 000 50
Investor & Analyst Enquiries:Jacob Waern / Matthew HooperTel: +46 (0) 736 99 29 91 / +44 (0) 7768 440 414Email: email@example.com
Press EnquiriesBert Willborg Tel: +44 (0) 7912 280 850Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Modern Times Group is an international entertainment broadcasting group with the largest geographical broadcast footprint in Europe. MTG's Viasat Broadcasting operates 28 free-TV channels in 11 countries and 38 pay-TV channels in 32 countries. The pay-TV channels are distributed on Viasat’s own satellite platforms in 9 countries, as well as on third party broadcast networks (including cable, satellite and IPTV) and over the open internet. These free-TV and pay-TV channels and pay-TV platforms attract a total of 125 million viewers in 33 countries. MTG is also the largest shareholder in Russia’s leading independent television broadcaster (CTC Media – Nasdaq: CTCM).
Modern Times Group is a growth company and generated SEK 13.1 billion of sales and SEK 2.4 billion of operating income in 2010. MTG’s Class A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm’s Large Cap index under the symbols ‘MTGA’ and ‘MTGB’.
The information in this announcement is that which Modern Times Group MTG AB is required to disclose under the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. It was released for publication at 13.00 CET on 18 April 2011.
 This financial report includes the effects of the demerger and distribution of former MTG subsidiary CDON Group AB (‘CDON Group’) in December 2010. CDON Group’s results have been excluded from MTG’s operating results and cash flows for 2010, with the exception of the reported net income from discontinued operations in the Group’s income statements and the net cash flow to financing activities in the Group’s cash flow statements.