2018 was a new record year for TV4, with EBITA of SEK 1,382 million (SEK 1,022 million in 2017), and an operating margin of 29.2 per cent (22.9 per cent in 2017), making it one of the most profitable TV operators in Europe. The Bonnier Broadcasting division grew its earnings by just over 140 per cent, with EBITA of SEK 1,027 million (SEK 423 million in 2017). Sales rose to SEK 8,253 million (SEK 7,497 million in 2017), representing growth of 10 per cent. All Bonnier Broadcasting companies are growing sales and earnings. C More substantially grew its subscriber base and consumer revenues, with earnings sharply up on 2017: SEK -99 million (SEK -296 million in 2017). After several years of operating in a challenging Finnish TV market, MTV of Finland saw a definite change in trend, posting earnings of EUR -20.6 million (EUR -22.6 million in 2017).
“2018 was the year when our strategy, from viewers to users, really materialized. During the year we took several decisive steps towards a long-term sustainable TV business model. Strengthened by our record earnings, we will now continue to invest in user-friendly technology and quality content, to create Sweden’s best TV experience,” says Casten Almqvist, CEO of TV4 and Bonnier Broadcasting.
TV4’s EBITA for 2018 came in at a record SEK 1,382 million (SEK 1,022 million in 2017), up 35.2 per cent on the previous year. The operating margin improved to 29.2 per cent. This substantial earnings growth is the result of a year of continuing successful digital transformation, major ratings and consumption successes on all platforms, and a combination of strong sales growth, lower costs and rationalisation.
TV4 Play accounts for over half of MMS-monitored AVOD, and by the end of the year had over 4.7 million logged-in users, further strengthening its position in the market. TV4 Play’s added reach exceeds the linear decline, enabling TV4 to increase its overall reach over the last five years, notwithstanding falls in linear viewing figures. And major linear rating successes were seen during the year – the TV4 channels had their best year ever in terms of share of viewing time. The TV4 channel itself saw its highest share of viewing time since 2005. As a result, and thanks to an ever stronger platform-independent advertising offering, TV4 broke its earlier record for both digital and linear sales, thereby strengthening its position as market leader in commercial TV, regardless of platform. In addition, a continuing focus on quality and transparency has increased demand for both digital and linear TV, i.e. the total TV offering pursued by TV4 over the past few years. There is much to indicate that this trend will continue in 2019. Sales rose to SEK 4,739 million (SEK 4,469 million in 2017).
C More’s earnings were sharply up in 2018, partly the result of the plan for “a profitable C More” launched in the beginning of the year. C More had a strong year in terms of content, with a steady stream of major Swedish drama programmes, and a successful World Cup, coupled with the option of commercial-free TV4 content. The subscriber base and consumer revenues grew sharply during the year. Investments continued in Swedish quality content, including drama and sport. C More reported a result of SEK -99 million (SEK -296 million in 2017).
“As 2018 approached we merged the C More and TV4 organisations under the same operational management. C More’s impressive earnings growth clearly shows that this is the right way forward. Now we will gear up C More even more with investment in family programmes, among other initiatives,” says Casten Almqvist.
MTV in Finland, which has had a tough time in a challenging market in recent years, saw successes in both digital services and linear broadcasting, growing its share of commercial viewing time and its number of streaming starts. MTV also grew more than the intensely competitive advertising market as a whole. C More as a SVOD service, which was launched in the Finnish market in 2017, saw growth in its subscriber base. Overall, C More grew more than the Finnish SVOD market as a whole. The company posted a result* of EUR -20.6 million (EUR -22.6 million in 2017).
Bonnier Broadcasting’s earnings rose by just over 140 per cent, posting EBITA of SEK 1,027 million (SEK 423 million in 2017). Sales rose by 10 per cent to SEK 8,253 million (SEK 7,497 million in 2017).
*Combined earnings of MTV and Mediahub.