Profits double for MTG

Swedish media group Modern Times Group AB (MTG) said its third-quarter pretax profit more than doubled to 647 million kronor from 262 million a year earlier helped by a 24 percent increase in sales, and a 241 million kronor non-cash accounting gain from the IPO of CTC Media Inc.

The underlying pretax result was 406 million kronor, versus market expectations of 362 million kronor.

Sales increased to 2.280 billion kronor from 1.836 billion, reflecting continued healthy growth at the company’s Nordic pay-TV and Central and East European businesses, as well as the first contributions from newly acquired TV Prima in the Czech Republic and BET24.

Excluding the newly acquired businesses, sales increased 14 percent year-on-year.

Viasat Broadcasting, which comprises MTG’s principal television broadcasting businesses, generated a 26 percent increase in sales year-on-year to 1.857 billion kronor. Viasat reported growth for each of its broadcasting segments.

The total number of digital subscribers to the Viasat platform in the Nordic and Baltic countries grew by 17 percent year-on-year to 884,000 by the end of the period, and from 858,000 at the end of the second quarter.

Viasat’s total number of premium subscribers increased by 27 percent year-on-year to 755,000 at the end of the period, and were up 5 percent from the second quarter.