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Storytel revenue beats expectations on audiobook demand

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STOCKHOLM, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Swedish audiobook streaming group Storytel (STORYb.ST) on Friday reported second-quarter revenue ahead of analyst expectations, helped by growth across the Nordics, Europe and the United States, sending its shares up 15%.

Quarterly net sales rose 28% to 781 million Swedish crowns ($77.16 million) from 611 million crowns a year earlier. Analysts had expected 774 million crowns, Refinitiv data shows.

Storytel performed a restructuring in the first half of the year, with a management overhaul, a sharper focus on costs and 100 job cuts.

"We have continued to prune the organisation," interim CEO Ingrid Bojner, told Reuters.

"The type of environment we are in, it will always be important to keep a hard look at our cost base but I see the positive effects of the growth in our priority markets."

Bojner took the helm after Jonas Tellander stepped down in February.

The company, which has 2.05 million paying subscribers, entered the United States through its acquisition of Audiobooks.com in November and currently operates in 25 markets with a slate of 700,000 titles.

Storytel also reiterated its forecast for full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to come in between breakeven and a loss of 3%.

Its second-quarter EBITDA loss narrowed to 6 million crowns from 59 million crowns in the same period last year.

($1 = 10.1220 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm Editing by Terje Solsvik and David Goodman
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