It's proving to be a good run for MBC Group, first with an extremely well received IPO and now, its Q1-24 financials. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: After a blockbuster IPO late last year, the Saudi broadcasting giant MBC Group shows up with upbeat Q1-2024 numbers, with revenues off to a 36 per cent rise to SR1.23 billion. It was SR909 million a year ago.

This was brought about by a 'healthy recovery' in TV advertising, subscriber growth during Ramadan, and the 'inclusion of an additional 10 days of Ramadan accounted for in Q1-2024 compared with Q1- 2023'.

Triple digit gain profit

MBC Group's gross profit for Q1-24 is up 115 per cent to SR345 million, while net income grew a near eight-fold to SR121 million. Net income margins were 10 per cent compared to a negative margin of 2 per cent for the same period in 2023.

TV advertising growth

"MBC’s performance is in line with our expectations, following a strong year in 2023," said Sam Barnett, CEO. "We recorded revenue growth across our core businesses - and more specifically in Shahid with subscriber growth maintaining its solid trajectory year-on-year.

"As anticipated, advertising has witnessed a decent recovery following a challenging geopolitical backdrop at the end of last year. This Ramadan season we saw a substantial uptick in Shahid’s subscriber base, thanks to our strong line-up of content, including shows like Zawga Waheda La Takfi.”

MBC's OTT numbers stack up
Shahid, MBC’s OTT platform, saw a 72% growth in revenue to SR298 million in Q1-2024, from 'significant' gains in the number of subscription video-on-demand subscribers, notably during peak Ramadan season. Overall subscriber numbers reached 4.83 million in the first quarter, with the platform adding over 800,000 new subscribers since the end of 2023.
Ad revenue more than tripled year-on-year to SR73.9 million as MBC 'continues to focus on expanding and further enhancing its content line-up available on the ad-supported free-to-watch platform'.

Taking its Turkish series to new markets

And it's making headway into more overseas territories. For instance, there is the reach into South America through the Turkish adoption of Al-Thaman (titled Sara). The show has been dubbed in Spanish, and Ecuador was the first country to air it in early March.

"It has been doing well with promising viewership, which has opened other potential opportunities for similar agreements in neighbouring countries," said a statement. "South America is an important growth market for MBC, with the potential to take Turkish adaptions further afield."