Modern Times Targets Sales of SK20 Billion by 2011

(Corrects to clarify that sales growth target excludes acquisitions and revenue forecast for 2011 includes acquisitions in first and second paragraphs of story published June 8.)

Modern Times Group AB (MTGB), Sweden's largest publicly traded media company, forecast sales growth will top 10 percent a year until 2011, after beating goals set three years ago.

The new sales growth target for 2007 to 2011 excludes the effect from acquisitions, the Stockholm-based company said in a statement through the Cision news service today. Sales will reach 20 billion kronor ($2.88 billion) by 2011, including acquisitions, the company said. The return on equity will be 30 percent in the five-year period, it said.

Modern Times forecast its operating profit will top 20 percent of sales in the Viasat Broadcasting division in 2011, excluding the CTC Media unit. Viasat Broadcasting central and east European operations will generate sales of 5 billion kronor in 2011, including CTC Media, and have higher earnings before interest and tax than the rest of Viasat Broadcasting by that time, the company said.

The company will keep investing in its existing businesses and will seek new areas and channels for future growth, Chief Executive Officer Hans-Holger Albrecht said in the statement.

The previous goals, set by Modern Times in 2004, aimed to double sales in the broadcasting division and to reach an operating margin of more than 15 percent before 2009.

Shares of Modern Times rose as much as 12.5 kronor, or 3 percent, to 428 kronor, and traded at 427 kronor as of 9:46 a.m. in Stockholm. Before today, the stock had lost 7.7 percent this year.

Separately, Modern Times said today it signed an agreement with Danish commercial broadcaster TV2 DANMARK A/S to add TV2 to its Viasat package starting in July. The agreement runs until the end of 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Janina Pfalzer in Stockholm at jpfalzer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Malcolm Fried at mfried@bloomberg.net

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