Pan-Nordic media and entertainment company Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has revealed new range of measures to reduce its ongoing costs.
The global health pandemic COVID-19 has already seen the postponement or cancellation of sporting events, and for NENT Group means reduced sports coverage for NENT Group, as well as lower advertising demand levels and the postponement of content production orders.
To reduce its ongoing costs (excluding sports rights costs) by approximately SEK 700 million (USD $68,000), the NENT Group are reducing programming and production spend, deferring or cancelling any non-essential or non-core development projects, lower sales and marketing spending and cancelling all executive incentive plans for 2020.
There is no intention to reduce permanent staffing levels, but freelance and consultant costs are being reduced. New hires are only being made for essential positions. All non-essential travel and entertainment has been cancelled and there are plans for greater use of its existing remote access, sharing and conferencing facilities for the foreseeable future.
The measures being taken are intended to protect staff, business continuity and the future potential of the operations when the current crisis comes to an end.
NENT Group’s board of directors will not propose the previously indicated cash dividend or any executive long-term incentive plan for 2020, to the upcoming 2020 Annual General Meeting of shareholders (NENT Group reports a stable financial position with SEK 3.3 billion of undrawn credit facilities, and cash of SEK 1.2 billion.)
The merger of the Viasat Consumer business and Telenor’s Canal Digital business is proceeding as planned, while NENT Group will temporarily pause the previously announced process to sell the non-scripted production, branded entertainment and events businesses in NENT Studios. NENT Group will also launch the Viaplay streaming service in Iceland this Spring as planned.
NENT Group has no confirmed instances of COVID-19 amongst its staff and has implemented wide ranging security and safety initiatives to protect and communicate with its workforce.