June 5 (Reuters) – Swedish streaming company Viaplay Group (VPLAYb.ST) on Monday said it was replacing its chief executive and cutting its growth projections, adding that its business environment had worsened and cost cuts were taking longer than planned.
Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, a former CEO of MTG, Viaplay’s previous parent company, will take the helm with immediate effect, replacing Anders Jensen, it said in a statement.
Jensen said in the statement that “in the light of current challenges, the company is best served if I step down, and I have therefore decided to do so.”
The group, which competes with Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) and Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) Disney+, lowered its short-term organic sales growth projections for 2023 to 16%-17.5% from its previous forecast of 24%-26%.
It also said it was withdrawing its longer-term financial guidance and expects to provide an update on its medium-term outlook when it releases second-quarter results on July 20.
Viaplay said the rising cost of living had led to lower demand in Nordic and international streaming, lower wholesale subscription sales, and a sharp and rapid deterioration in Scandinavian TV and radio advertising markets. It added that foreign exchange headwinds have increased.
It expects second-quarter sales between 4.5 billion Swedish crowns and 4.6 billion Swedish crowns ($415 million to $425 million). It also expects to have 7.7 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter which compares with 7.6 million for the first quarter.
($1 = 10.8160 Swedish crowns)
Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh and Anirudh Saligrama in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
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