Swedish streaming service Storytel cuts revenue forecast on stronger crown

STOCKHOLM, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Audiobook streaming group Storytel on Tuesday trimmed its revenue forecast for 2020, blaming a stronger Swedish crown for partially offsetting strong subscriber and streaming growth.

The crown has gained more than 4% against the euro over the last six months and Storytel, which competes with the likes of Amazon’s Audible and is present in some 20 markets, lowered its 2020 revenue forecast to 1.88 billion Swedish crowns ($217.83 million)from 1.9 billion.

“Storytel saw continued high demand for its service and an influx of customers that resulted in us exceeding our forecast for both subscriber and revenue growth for the third quarter,” CEO Jonas Tellander said in the report.

Storytel made a series of acquisitions in 2020, including Icelandic publisher Forlagio, Israeli streaming service iCast Ltd and Swedish publisher Bromberg as it looks to capitalize on book-lovers’ switch to online media rather than physical print.

However, Storytel faces tougher competition, with rival Amazon having launched a Swedish website in October.

Third-quarter revenue increased to 490 million crowns from a year-ago 399 million and subscriptions were up 35% to 1.36 million compared to 1 million in Q3 2019, in line with a trading update given by the company in October.

Storytel saw with third-quarter streaming sales up 23%.

$1 = 8.6304 Swedish crowns Reporting by Colm Fulton; Editing by Simon Johnson