A successful IPO and listing. Done. And now MBC follows up with robust 2023 financials too. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Saudi broadcaster MBC Group beamed in revenues of SR3.7 billion for 2023, up 6.2 per cent, with gains across all its core business segments. Gross profit spiked a substantial 43.7 per cent to SR921 million, and which results in the net turning in a 44.8 per cent increase to SR69 million.

The bottom-line numbers surpass the 'Group's targets', which resulted from significant increases from the advertising video-on-demand and subscription video-on-demand services. The Shahid platform, the leading Arabic language service, also saw a 'material decrease' in net losses.

For MBC Group, this continues the flow of good news, having started the year with a spectacular listing on the Saudi Tadawul. The first day delivered a 30 per cent bounce and the stock's even been through a 100 per cent spike.

The IPO saw the company raise SR831 million.

Shahid's ad revenues

"During 2023, we delivered on our plans for broadcasting and other commercial activities, Shahid, and M&E initiatives," said Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC Group.

"Particularly on Shahid, we leveraged content, technology, and marketing efforts to drive subscription VOD subscribers. We adopted a new content release strategy for our advertising VOD platform, resulting in increased growth and a significant rise in advertising revenue.

"Our efforts have driven Shahid SVOD subscribers to surpass our targets, reaching just under 4 million, while our advertising VOD revenues have grown by 143 per cent compared to 2022, reaching SR112 million.”

Shahid subscribers rose by nearly 1 million new subscribers from 2022. Helping MBC was its strategy to on the content line-up, plus an 'enhanced' sports offering that includes the Saudi Premier League in 4K, and 'successful strategic business partnerships that drove subscription growth in Saudi Arabia and Egypt'.

The advertising VOD platform had an average of 15 million active users monthly in 2023, a 25 per cent growth from the previous year. "The increased focus on advertising VOD was a strategic decision the Group took to drive higher revenue by having close to 90 per cent of its content available through the free-to-watch platform including very popular shows such as 'Al Thaman' and 'Crystal' and through executing a successful marketing campaign in key regions," said a statement. 

MBC's broadcast bouquet
Apart from Shahid, MBC broadcasts 13 free-to-air (FTA) TV channels and 3 radio channels. Around 150 million viewers tune in every week.