Bonnier reaches record earnings

Swedish movie chain claims high year-end profits

Despite a weakened Swedish movie-theater market, Scandinavia’s largest media entertainment group Bonnier reached record earnings in 2005.

Profit after net financial items for the Bonnier Group improved by $227 million, from $102 million in 2004 to $329 million a year later, the highest to date. All business areas, including Magazine Group, Books, Entertainment, Business Press and Newspapers, improved their earnings. Sales rose by 2% to $2.55 billion.

The acquisition of Alma Media’s broadcasting division in Finland in January 2005, including MTV3 and holdings in TV4 of Sweden, as well as the merge of Bonnier Business Information with Ratos-owned Infodata, strongly strengthened the Bonnier Group’s finances. Excluding the capital gains on these transactions, profit was $18 million higher than in 2004.

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“The pace of development is high, with all business areas advancing their positions,” says Bengt Braun, President and CEO.

Operating profit for Bonnier Entertainment, which houses the group’s film, TV, music and radio activities, including Svensk Filmindustri and SF Bio, were up 13% year on year to $34 million. Sales increased by 2% to $454 million. The result is primarily due to participation in the profits of Swedish TV4 and Finnish TV company Nordic Broadcasting, as well as capital gains from the sale of shares in Digital Illusions and Zodiak.