Swedish media group MTG (Modern Times Group) has posted record Q2 sales of SEK 5,010 million (€486.3m) with 9 per cent organic growth. In a statement, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann President & CEO, commented:
“This was the eighth consecutive quarter of more than 5 per cent organic sales growth and another quarter of profitable growth. We delivered 9 per cent organic sales growth, with digital sales up 76 per cent to represent 36 per cent of total sales, and operating profits up 12 per cent despite SEK 32 million of transaction costs related to the proposed TDC merger and the ongoing split process.
Nordic Entertainment delivered yet another quarter of higher sales and profits. The positive impact of our exclusive coverage of the Ice Hockey World Championship and the continued growth of our Viaplay and Viafree streaming services more than offset the coverage of the FIFA World Cup on rival channels and lower TV viewing levels. We have recently secured several key sports rights for the coming years, including English Premier League football, Formula 1 and the World Handball Championships, which have reinforced our position as the undisputed home of premium sports content in the Nordic region. And we have also continued to launch new Viaplay original productions, with over 30 now available or in production.
MTGx sales were up 63 per cent on a reported basis and 25 per cent on an organic basis, and we delivered our third consecutive quarter of EBITDA profits. We turned a loss a year ago into an EBITDA profit of SEK 34m this quarter, due to the contribution from InnoGames in particular. We also acquired the remaining shares in Zoomin.TV and Splay Networks and merged Splay into our Studios business to create a new branded entertainment powerhouse. ESL is more and more about owned and operated events and so we continue to restructure, streamline and focus our resources on events where we can scale our media and sponsorship deals in order to maintain our market leadership and build an sports megabrand. Esports revenue growth will be limited in H2 but losses will be reduced.
We have made further significant steps towards splitting MTG into two separate companies, with Nordic Entertainment Group operating as a separate company from 1 July with a new brand, Board and management team. We are now awaiting our largest shareholder Kinnevik’s distribution of its MTG shares to its own shareholders before moving forward with the listing process. There are of course costs associated with the reorganisation ahead of the split, which are impacting both items affecting comparability and central costs. Our ongoing strategic transformation has continued during Q2 with the completion of the sale of Trace and we now await regulatory approval for the sale of Nova in Bulgaria. We have paid out our record high dividend and continue to look for M&A investment and consolidation opportunities.
Continued sales and profit growth, while making further progress towards the split of MTG, reflect a clear vision, a differentiated strategy, and an exceptional team. We remain focused on building shareholder value through our strategic transformation and unique product offerings.”