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No. 37: Bonnier Group

Stockholm, Sweden

Revenue: $1.826 billion

Profit: $70 million

In a year when the stock market took its toll on most media companies the 198-year-old Bonnier Group, privately owned by the Bonnier family, racked up its highest net profit and its highest sales ever.

The group’s holdings encompass TV, film, video, Internet, radio, music and print assets in 20 territories. Bundled under the Bonnier Entertainment division, the group’s 82-year-old studio Svensk Filmindustri (SF), exhib SF Bio and its growing TV interests are its main electronic drivers, while Bonnier Net houses a raft of new Internet content producers.

SF continued fast-track distrib growth with a strategic alliance inked last year with 20th Century Fox, as well as a pact with Revolution Studios and the extension of its output deal with New Line Cinema. And sister company SF Bio plans to up screen counts in the Swedish cities of Gothenberg and Malmo.

On the TV side, Bonnier upped its stake to 33% in Alma Media, owner of Finland’s largest TV channel MTV3. It already holds the biggest stake in TV4 Sweden and owns Lithuanian channel LNK.

Bonnier Music acquired leading blues, jazz and ethnic distrib label Amigo last year.

Company managed to avoid huge losses suffered by most companies as a result of the dot-com demise, and strengthened its Internet content and e-commerce positions.

Soft advertising revs have CEO Bengt Braun predicting some tough times ahead but Bonnier does not intend to drop the ball on several important courts. Its focus is international expansion and “the great opportunities provided by the rapid expansion of new distribution channels for content focused media companies like Bonnier,” according to Braun.

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