Swedish media group MTG (Modern Times Group) posted a 3.9 per cent rise in Q1 sales. Its eSports division lifted its organic sales by 9.6 per cent. MTG said sales climbed to SEK 967 million (€89.5m) from SEK 931 million in the same period a year earlier, but were down by 1.7 per cent on an organic basis
It is the company’s first set of quarterly results since its separation from Nordic Entertainment (NENT).
Following the decline in eSports revenue during the second half of 2018, resulting from a strategic decision to focus on owned and operated (O&O) properties and pursue only selected esports services (ESS) business, the eSports vertical returned to growth in the first quarter, delivering organic sales growth of 9.6 per cent. The rate of growth was constrained by ESL having two fewer Masters properties than in the first quarter last year, but the two Masters properties that were activated generated revenues substantially higher than in the previous year, and we also delivered four more Challenger properties this year. Properties featured Fortnite for the first time, generating strong interest from fans. Dreamhack’s newly launched e-FIFA leagues in Denmark and Sweden delivered strong incremental revenues.
InnoGames achieved good growth in mobile sales, with more than half of Forge of Empires revenue coming from mobile for the first time. InnoGames also launched God Kings, a new mobile game that is showing strong initial results. The start of the turnaround in Kongregate drove an improvement in the revenue performance in Gaming, compared to the sharp decline saw in the previous quarter, and the Adjusted EBITDA margin also improved sequentially, both of these reflecting Kongregate’s focus on a smaller number of successful games.
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, President & CEO, commented: “Our world-leading eSports business returned to growth in the quarter, with both of ESL’s Masters properties and Dreamhack’s e-FIFA leagues delivering record numbers of viewers and attracting a growing range of high-quality sponsors and media partners. InnoGames had a solid quarter and we also saw the performance of Kongregate start to turn around. With Nova now sold, we can focus fully on expanding our portfolio of successful games companies.”