NENT Group has reported that Viaplay paying subscribers up 21 per cent YoY in Q2 to 3,287,000 with 140,000 subscribers added QoQ, of which 113,000 were Nordic subscribers and 27,000 were international subscribers. 2021 year end international Viaplay subscriber target upgraded from more than 250,000 to 500,000.
The Group reported a total operating income of SEK 179 million (€17.5m).
Anders Jensen, President & CEO, commented: “The momentum that we have established continued into the second quarter of our five-year strategy period, and we are well on track to reach our goals. 21 per cent Viaplay subscriber growth, 31 per cent group organic revenue growth and 98 per cent underlying profit growth further demonstrate the strength and potential of the business. This was the first quarter when Viaplay was our largest revenue generating unit, which is a major milestone in our transformation. The pace of our international expansion is now ramping up with the imminent launch in Poland, and we are raising our subscriber and investment targets for the year to reflect the strength of our content offering and the new partnerships that we are forging. Sustainability is at the very heart of what we do, and we are currently developing a new five-year strategy in dialogue with our stakeholders to govern our supply chains, protect privacy, promote diversity and limit our environmental impact.”
“Viaplay revenues (35 per cent of sales) were up 36 per cent YoY on an organic basis after 21 per cent YoY subscriber growth. We added 113k Nordic subscribers and 27,000 international subscribers in the quarter to end the first half of the year with a total of 3,287,000 paying subscribers. The revenue growth also reflected the price adjustments made in the Spring. Total streamed minutes of viewing of our originals was up 82 per cent YoY and our coverage of the European football championships also boosted subscriber intake in Denmark. We have increased our Viaplay originals ambition to at least 50 for the year, and several major sports rights will now come on stream after the summer. We are well on track to meet our year-end target of adding at least 400k new paying Nordic subscribers.”
“The launch of Viaplay in the three Baltic countries has gone according to plan. We have a healthy pipeline of subscribers on free trial periods, are introducing a number of attractive new B2B and D2C campaigns, and will soon add the UEFA leagues to our offering. We will launch Viaplay in Poland on August 3rd and have a very strong content line-up, as well as several B2B distribution agreements ready to be rolled out. This has led us to double our original year-end international subscriber target to 500,000. We have also increased our investments in the international Viaplay expansion and now expect an EBIT impact of approximately SEK -500 million in 2021, of which we have incurred SEK -86 million in H1. We will provide updates on our five-year plan at our Capital Markets Day in September, including the impact of the newly acquired rights to English Premier League football for five more markets for six years from 2022.”
“Other subscription revenues (33 per cent of sales) were up 30 per cent YoY on an organic basis when excluding last year’s contribution from the Viasat Consumer business. This reflected the growth in revenues from Allente in particular, as well as the low comp from last year.”
“Advertising revenues (31 per cent of sales) were up 28 per cent YoY on an organic basis, as advertising spending continued to recover from the lows in Q2 2020. We estimate that our overall Nordic TV and radio advertising market share was up, and demand levels continue to be high.”
“Revenues for the continuing studios businesses (2 per cent of sales) were up 19 per cent YoY on an organic basis, with the NENT Studios UK content distribution business having been sold in June. Our continuing businesses have seen higher external order and production volumes but are now primarily focused on producing content for Viaplay. We announced the sale of all of the remaining discontinued studios businesses earlier this month and expect to close this deal in Q3 or Q4.”
“Our EBIT before ACI and IAC was up 98 per cent when excluding last year’s contribution from the Viasat Consumer business but including our investments in the international expansion of Viaplay.”
“Our joint venture Allente is on track to deliver the SEK 650 million of full run-rate cost synergies next year and is also working to upsell Viaplay to the rest of its subscriber base. The quarterly integration costs are now increasing as the planned programme accelerates, which is why we expect limited earnings contribution this year. We will now receive quarterly dividends from Allente from Q3 and expect the full year 2021 dividends to amount to at least SEK 400 million.”
“We are moving ahead quickly with our expansion in the Nordics and internationally, as well as executing on new opportunities as they arise. We are investing in more and more original local content, as well as securing key acquired content for many years to come. In addition to the launches in the US and the Netherlands, we will announce additional international expansion markets at or before our CMD.”
“We are learning a lot through the pandemic and establishing flexible new ways of working that will serve us well as our offices gradually re-open. It has undoubtedly further accelerated consumer adoption of streaming services and we are, as always, totally focused on delivering the best customer experiences in the most sustainable way for all of our stakeholders,” he concluded.