Astral’s quarterly earnings soar

Montreal-headquartered Astral Communications Inc. doubled its net earnings to $ C951,000 ($ 808,350) for the quarter ended May 31, compared with the same quarter last year.

Operating earnings of $ 4.34 million were 2 1/2 times the $ 1.7 million in the same period of 1992.

Earnings per share climbed to 16 cents in the quarter, compared with 9 cents.

Revenues of $ 70 million in the quarter were 16% higher than the $ 60.62 a year earlier. Cash flow from operations was $ 4.76 or 41 cents per share.

Fiscal year-end figures are not available because Astral changed its year end to Aug. 31 to have the same fiscal year end as other Canadian broadcasters.

As such these “fifth-quarter” results contribute to a 15-month period. Revenues for that period were $ 328.9 million, with doesn’t compare with any previous period.

Chairman/CEO Harold Greenberg said in a news release that while it was difficult to make meaningful comparisons with the 15-month period, “our businesses on the whole are not very seasonal, so it is clear that the trend for revenues and earnings is up.”

Corporate spokesman David Novek told Daily Variety that the positive numbers are a result of “all our groups doing well.”

Astral owns a controlling interest in pay-per-view, pay and specialty television services in English and French. It is involved in developing, financing and distributing films, TV and homevid product.

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