NENT lifts subscriber goal for Viaplay as it aims at UK, Germany

FILE PHOTO: Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) sign is seen at their headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Olof Swahnberg/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish media group NENT increased the subscriber target for its Viaplay business on Wednesday and said the streaming service would enter five new markets, including Britain and Germany.

Ahead of a presentation to investors and media, NENT said it was now targeting 12 million Viaplay subscribers by the end of 2025, up from 10.5 million previously and versus 3.3 million subscribers at the end of June.

It also forecast 2020-2025 compound annual organic sales growth at the upper end of its target ranges - 18%-20% for the group and 13%-15% for its Nordic operations.

NENT competes with streaming giant Netflix, the market leader in the Nordics, as well as Disney, which launched Disney+ in the region last year.

The company, which is currently launching series "Ronja the Robber's Daughter" and "The Prize of Silence", said it would bring Viaplay to Britain, Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, taking the number of markets to 16 by the end of 2023.

It has previously said it will launch in the United States this year.

NENT also set a new target of 23%-25% compound annual organic sales growth for Viaplay in the Nordic markets for 2020-2025.

The company has been creating dark, psychological crime shows such as "Wisting" and "Darkness: Those who kill" and plans to premiere at least 50 original titles this year.

Local competitors include Bonnier Broadcasting's C More, owned by Telia Company, and Sweden's state-owned SVT.

NENT shares, up 6% so far this year through Tuesday, were up 1.8% in early trade.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Mark Potter)

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