Modern Times Group warned the market that its pay-TV margins in the Nordic region would halve next year as a result of increasing competition, and its shares fell more than 20 per cent and wiping SKr4 billion ($610m) from its market value.
The company said its Nordic pay-TV margin would fall from 20 per cent last year to 15 per cent in the fourth quarter and 10-12 per cent next year. It also forecast an operating loss next year in its emerging markets because of its investments in Ukraine and Russia, where it is the largest shareholder in CTC Media. It said last year’s operating profit of SKr32 million in emerging markets would become a loss of SKr50 million next year.
MTG said the collapse in margins in both areas was down to the competitive need to invest more in content and marketing. MTG said it was continuing to lose premium pay-TV subscribers but hoped investment in areas such as film and sport would enable it to win some back in the future.