After enduring big changes at the helm, mass layoffs and a sell-off of assets, European media co Modern Times Group is seeing promise in both its sales and profit.
The Sweden-based company’s noted in its Q4 report that net sales were up 10% from the same quarter in 2015, and 5% for the full year. Net income hit SKE 422 million (US$48 million), up from SKE 375 million ($43 million) in the Q4 2015. Net income for the full year nearly doubled from 2015 to SKE 963 million ($110 million), up from SKE 533 million ($61 million).
In the report, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann (pictured), president and CEO of MTG, said the company met its objective of accelerating sales and increasing profits, while taking a number of important measures to shape the future of the company.
“We have been on a journey for several years now to adjust our traditional broadcast businesses to new media consumption trends, and we accelerated this strategy even further in 2016. We have rolled out new channels and services including Viafree in Scandinavia and Viaplay in the Baltics, and added fantastic new original programming and sports products,” Lindemann said.
MTG has also taken the steps to realign its portfolio by exiting eastern European region, divest itself of a free-TV business in Africa and sign an agreement to divest 50% of its stake in Czech Republic’s television station Prima.
The company is also putting also pushing further into online gaming. It acquired 21% of InnoGames in December and is looking to increase that to 51% when the Prima sales have been completed.
Lindemann also noted that MTG’s group-wide digital sales almost doubled in 2016 and that Viaplay, the company’s digital platform, had a record year with significant subscriber growth and MTGx expanded is operations while it looks to gradually invest in esports, and added a new vertical, online gaming component.
The news for MTG comes after a tumultuous few years when in 2015 they cut 300 jobs across the UK and Scandinavia, sold off various Hungarian channels to Sony Pictures Television Network, sold off its Ukrainian pay-TV operations and restructured its management team.