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Sweden’s TV4 reports strong results

Swedish free-to-air commercial and pay TVbroadcaster TV4 Group benefited from a buoyant domestic advertising market last year to post record sales of SEK5.885 billion, up 6% year-on-year, and EBIT of SEK577 million, up 9%.

TV4 said that demand for airtime on its channels had outstripped supply for the third year running, outperforming overall Swedish TV ad market growth of 3.9%. The company said its channels accounted for almost 90% of growth in the market.

Pay TV arm C More saw sales and subscriber numbers grow, leading to increased earnings, but restructuring and new launch costs –notably the launch of subscription video-on-demand service Filmnet – resulted in a loss for the full year.

TV4’s strategic review last year resulted in the sale of certain sports rights and the initiation of a process to divestTV11, which the company said would deliver results in 2013, giving it addedflexibility to redistribute the resources that will be freed up and make new investments.

“There is a continuing healthy demand for TV advertising, and we have broken our previous sales record. 2012 also saw a breakthrough for TV4 Play,” said Casten Almqvist, CEO of TV4 Group. “TV4 employees have every reason to be proud that our strategy is working and that we are on the right track. But competition in the Swedish TV market is becoming ever more intense, so we must continue to reinvent ourselves and rationalise. As always, however, TV4 will focus on breadth, diversity and quality, engaging TV for the whole country, on quality journalism and on major entertainment and sports programmes.”