Strong financial statements for Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet

The annual financial statements for Schibsted's Swedish media house are ready. Svenska Dagbladet delivers a strong operating profit of SEK 70 million (SEK 59 million) and Aftonbladet turns up after the first challenging Corona year. High growth of digital revenues combined with large cost savings gives the evening paper an operating profit for 2021 of SEK 94 million (SEK 33 million).

– 2021 was an extraordinary year for all our media houses, where the pandemic continued to shape both business and news reporting. At the same time as new traffic records were set, we saw continued strong growth in digital subscription revenues and an advertising market that turned up," says Siv Juvik Tveitnes, Group Director of Schibsted News Media, where Aftonbladet and Svenska Dagbladet are included.

Aftonbladet

Last year, Aftonbladet's Corona-live attracted between half a million and a million readers every day. A total of one million questions were asked to Aftonbladet's journalists in live chat.

"Aftonbladet really delivered as the primary source of news for the Swedish people, and during the summer the newspaper reached a new record: a daily total of over four million. This figure has been defended the following year, with a record record of 4,108,000 readers in December," says Siv Juvik Tveitnes.

During the year, a number of profiled recruitments have strengthened the editorial team, including Andreas Cervenka, My Rohwedder, Daniel Kristoffersson and Linda Hjertén and continued investments in sound have made Aftonbladet take new ground in the pod market. Daily news podcast Daily is now Sweden's largest news podcast, with a record of over 322,000 listenings.
Financially, Aftonbladet has not been affected as strongly by COVID pandemic as in 2020.

The digital subscription business continued to grow strongly, driven by increased reading interest combined with a competitive pricing and packaging strategy. Aftonbladet Plus's closing customer base in 2021 was 13 per cent higher than the corresponding period in 2020.

During 2021 the advertising market also recovered strongly. Aftonbladet met the increased demand through the further development of several verticals (Wellness, Godare, Economy) and the focus on increased video content.

However, the paper magazine's edition continues to decline, the main magazine's edition had a slightly bigger than expected impact due to the pandemic. However, the magazines remained strong and deliver almost the same results for the sixth year in a row.

In total, Aftonbladet reports a profit of SEK 94 million (-33 million) and increased operating income of 8.7 per cent, a total of SEK 1,600 million (1,472 million).

2021 2020 Where (%) Where (MSEK)
Operating income 1 600 1 472 8.7% 128
Operating result 94 -33 384% 127
Results of the year 75 22 +237% 53

The difference in Operating result compared to Profit for the year 2020 is due to the reversal of untaxed reserves of SEK 62 million.## Svenska Dagbladet

During the year Svenska Dagbladet saw increasingly clear results, both in the journalistic product and financially, resulting from the extensive changes and work that took the magazine to a new position in 2019.

– Svenska Dagbladet has made a formidable journey both editorially and on the business side. Strategic investments, such as those on sound, and the guarding of politics and the new business community, have strengthened SvD's position vis-à-vis its competitors and contribute to this result, we see this through increased reader revenues and higher commitment, says Siv Juvik Tveitnes

During the latest Orvesto measurements, the magazine has reached its highest daily digital reach since the measurements started and received in 2021 a series of awards for its journalism, including the Daily Magazine of the Year and the Picture of the Year.

During the year, the editorial team was strengthened with several profiled recruitments – including Maggie Strömberg and Torbjörn Nilsson to the Political Editors, Björn Barr and Essy Klingberg to the culture, Henning Eklund to SvD Enterprise and Mattias Svensson and Peter Wennblad to the editorial team.

The year was also marked by strategically important initiatives on podcasts and newsletters, including award-winning podcast documentaries Medicine Man, Politiken and SvD Techbrief.

Operating profit increased by 18 percent, to SEK 70 million (SEK 59 million), a historically good result derived from both higher revenues and lower costs.

SvD's operating income increased by 1 percent compared to 2020, when SvD received the temporary corona support of SEK 24 million. Corona support excluded is growth 4 percent.

It is above all the digital subscription revenue that is growing, it can be explained by a larger proportion of paying subscribers in the customer base, but is also partly an effect of the price adjustment carried out in 2020.

The paper magazine continues to be important for subscribers and revenues are stable.

The ad deal showed a good recovery from the second quarter of 2021, after a challenging pandemic year and the positive trend persisted for the rest of the year. Growth was particularly strong during the last quarter of the year. 2021 was a trend break. The latest digital ad deal showed growth was 2016 and revenue from print advertising has not increased since 2010.

In total, costs are slightly reduced, mainly linked to lower costs for paper, printing and distribution when the volumes of printed newspapers and the price of paper and distribution went down. The editorial costs increased, however, linked to the strategic investments and investments made by SvD as part of the ongoing change work.

2021 2020 Where (%) Where (MSEK)
Operating income 891.8 882 +1,0% +10
Operating result 70 59 +18.0% +11
Results of the year 71 60 +18,2% +11

Mediahuset Svenska Dagbladet consists of HB Svenska Dagbladet's Co. & Co and A Perfect guide (100%). The table above and the comments below show the results for Svenska Dagbladet excluding A Perfect Guide.Contact:

Petter Odder, Communication Specialist, Publishing, 070-268 26 64, petter.ovander@schibsted.com

From:

Schibsted, Västra Järnvägsgatan 21, 111 64, Stockholm (https://www.schibsted.com)