Viaplay Group announced its withdrawal from all markets except Scandinavia and the Netherlands in the second half of July. It then announced a restructuring plan that included, among other things: layoffs of more than a quarter of employees and write-offs worth CZK 6.28 billion, of which CZK 5.2 billion related to retained content (mainly sports broadcasting rights).
The company from the Baltics, Great Britain and Poland intends to exit by selling its business, tying up or partnering with other entities. It plans to implement these changes by the end of 2024. In September, there were unofficial reports that the Viaplay platform in Poland, which has existed since mid-20212, will disappear at the end of this year.
Viaplay in Poland until mid-2025.
In the third-quarter report published on Friday, Viaplay Group President and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann said Announce a new date. – I announce that we will withdraw from the Baltic states and Poland by summer 2025.
He stated that in all of these countries, in addition to the United Kingdom, The company’s results are below expectations, and its improvement year-on-year is due to the savings implemented. – We are currently anticipating that Full-year losses from this activity will be higher than previously expected because we are unable to launch a number of business initiatives now that we have left this market. The path to profitability for this business is neither clear nor realistic – I confess.
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In the latest quarter, Viaplay Group’s revenues outside Scandinavia, derived entirely from the Viaplay platform, rose 75.5%. Up to 760 million SEK. In organic terms, that is, without taking into account entries in subsequent countries, the dynamics amounted to 40.2%. With an increase in operating costs by 29.1%. To CZK 1.1 billion, operating losses decreased from CZK 419 to CZK 340 million.
In three quarters of this year outside Scandinavia, Viaplay recorded revenue of CZK 2.2 billion (more than in the whole of last year, when it amounted to CZK 1.43 billion) and an operating loss of CZK 1.27 billion.
At the end of September, the platform had 2.52 million subscribers in these markets, more than 320,000 subscribers more than a year ago. However, their number was lower than the previous quarter (2.56 million) and at the end of March, when a record number of 2.9 million was reached.
The company noticed this The much higher revenues are mainly due to the increase in the number of customers in Poland and the Netherlands (no specific figures were provided) and price increases (In our country it was introduced at the beginning of this year).
An even bigger loss for Viaplay Group
In the Nordic countries, Viaplay Group’s profitability deteriorated in the last quarter, Because with an increase in revenue of 3.3%. To CZK 3.78 billion, operating expenses increased by 14.2%. To 3.76 billion. As a result, operating profits shrank from 248 to 19 million kroner.
At the end of September, Viaplay had 4.14 million subscribers in Scandinavia (2% less than last year), while its quarterly revenue increased by 9.5%. Up to 1.61 billion CZK.
The company as a whole increased its revenue by 14.2% last quarter. To CZK 4.54 billion (in organic terms, the increase was 7.4%). Sales costs increased even more – from PLN 3.44 to PLN 4.34 billion.
The company was able to reduce sales and marketing expenses (from CZK 335 million to CZK 232 million) as well as general and administrative expenses, including: on employees (from CZK 429 to 336 million). However, additional expenses, mainly related to restructuring, amounted to CZK 253 million.
At the operating level, the company’s losses deepened from CZK 100 to CZK 538 million, and at the net level – from CZK 86 to CZK 693 million.
Lower expectations for Viaplay subscribers
The company lowered its expectations for some of its business results throughout this year. Viaplay is currently expected to have between 6.55-6.65 million subscribers at the end of the year (in July it was expecting 7-7.2 million subscribers).Negative cash flows will amount to CZK 3.6-3.8 billion (compared to CZK 2.5-3 billion in the previous forecast).
while Negative cash flow forecasts for next year have been increased from 1.5-2 to 1.7-2.2 billion kroner.. As before, the company expects sales revenue of between CZK 18.2 and 18.8 billion in 2024, a loss of CZK 150 million and profits of CZK 140 million at the operating level.
Canal+ and PPF will invest over CZK 3 billion
Viaplay Group announced this It intends to raise CZK 4 billion from the issuance of its new shares. Shares worth CZK 3.1 billion will be covered for Canal+ and PPF, and shares worth CZK 0.9 billion will be offered to all existing investors in the company..
The main goal is to reduce the company’s debt by CZK 2 billion. The issue must be approved by the holders of at least two-thirds of the existing shares of Viaplay Group. They will vote on the issue on January 10.
Canal+ accounted for 12% in the second half of July. Shares of Viaplay Group. However, in mid-September 10.1 percent. The shares went to the Norwegian company Schibsted.
At the end of September, Viaplay Group’s net debt (including leasing) amounted to 3.33 billion kroner, compared to 2.23 billion in the previous quarter and 1.48 billion at the end of last year. In the last quarter, net negative cash flows decreased year-on-year from -2.08 to -1.05 billion kroner, and investment expenses – from 45 to 34 million kroner (reaching 186 million over the year).
– This recapitalization will help us address our most pressing challenges and enable us to achieve our long-term ambitions – Jürgen Madsen Lindemann confirmed. – We are aware of the seriousness of the situation and have already taken rapid action to align supplier and partner contracts with achievable business objectives, focus on our core markets and halt our international expansion plan, reduce our cost base, realign our content strategy and ensure financial responsibility in all areas – according to him.
At the end of October, Viaplay announced that it had laid off more than 30 percent of its employees since July. employees. But this week it reached an agreement on the sale of Premier Sports, the owner of the TV channels and streaming service in Great Britain and Ireland, which it acquired in the middle of last year. For 30 million pounds sterling.
Viaplay lost more than 95%. Stock market evaluation
Posts from the new issue of Viaplay Group They will be sold at 1 kr each. On Thursday, at the end of the trading session, the company’s share price reached CZK 23.68. Immediately after the start of trading on Friday, the price fell by almost 80% to approximately CZK 5.30..
This is another significant decline in the stock market for the company. At the beginning of June, when the company announced a change of president and lowered full-year profit forecasts, its shares quickly fell from about 220 CZK to 60-65 CZK. The write-downs and restructurings announced in mid-July resulted in a drop from 68 to 35 kroner.
Since the beginning of January this year, when Viaplay Group’s share price was just over 200 kroner, the price has fallen by 97%.
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