www.tv2.no will be one of Norways most visited Internet gateways. This is the objective of TV 2s future interactive efforts.
The channel is buying back 38 per cent of the shares in Net 2 Interaktiv from Aftenposten and will thus be controlling 88 per cent of the company. TV 2 intends to strengthen the position of Net 2.
Together with Aftenposten and VG, TV 2 will form a new company with the objective to de-velop a comprehensive travel-web. Necessary staff is presently being hired.
TV 2 also considers Peak, a company of which TV 2 currently owns just under 50 per cent, to have great potential. For one thing, Peak has signed a co-operation agreement with Microsoft to develop interactive television.
TV 2s prospects are considerably brighter after the settlement of its financial commitment towards TVNorge last year. TVNorges operating loss and the settlement resulted in a loss for the TV 2 group in 1999 despite the fact that the television channel as such showed an operat-ing profit.
The groups annual loss was NOK 58.1 million. The operating profit was NOK 141.8 million.
The negative bottom line for the group may primarily be attributed to TV 2s share of TVNorges operating loss and the settlement of TV 2s financial commitment towards TVNorge. TV 2 undertook this commitment in connection with TVNorges programme scheduling. Total expenses in this connection are included in the 1999 annual accounts. TV 2s share of the channels operating loss amounted to NOK 91.0 million.
The gross compensation amounted to NOK 335 million. After taking into account ownership interests and tax, the net compensation was NOK 79 million.
TV 2s operating revenues amounted to NOK 1,359 million for the group and NOK 1,241 for the parent company. The growth in sales was 4.1 per cent for the group and 6.8 per cent for the parent company.
The advertising industry had a hard time in early 1999. Demand was considerably smaller than the year before. The situation improved during the year, but in total TV 2 did not reach the budget for the year as a whole.
The operating expenses amounted to NOK 1,217 million for the group and NOK 1,069 mil-lion for the parent company. This gave an increase of 8.5 per cent and 11.0 per cent respec-tively. The increase was particularly large for programme acquisitions, which went up by around NOK 100 million. The drama series Hotel Cæsar alone accounted for NOK 65 mil-lion.
In total, TV 2 received a negative group contribution from subsidiaries and affiliated compa-nies of NOK 21.8 million and NOK 157.0 million respectively. The latter figure includes the net compensation paid to TVNorge.
At the start of year 2000, there is a positive trend in advertising and a great demand for ad-vertising time. It is particularly interesting to note all the new Internet companies that use ad-vertising on TV to reach a large and young public.
The final annual accounts will be discussed at TV 2s board meeting on 14 March.