Modern Times on the rise

Rapid growth compensates for recent ad market issues

AMSTERDAM — Scandinavia’s Modern Times Group more than tripled its net income in its first half year on the back of a mild 11% rise in net sales.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, chief exec of MTG, which has a string of pay and free-to-air channels across Northern and Eastern Europe, said the rapid growth in its Eastern Euro ops “more than compensated” for problems it was having in the advertising market in Denmark and the failure of TV3 in Sweden to perform as expected.

He added the resolution of its piracy problems with a new NDS encryption system helped boost paybox income by 8% in the first half. Company had also taken aggressive legal action to reduce losses due to piracy in recent years.

Net profit rose to $88 million in the first half from $24 million a year earlier. Net sales rose to $477 million from $429 million. Operating income, which included the sale of its SDI Media subtitling and translation service, climbed 60% to $66 million.

Net sales for production and distrib arm Modern Studios remained flat at $42 million, partly due to lowered sales for TV production outfit Strix.

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