France’s top web sees 32.3% increase for ’92

TF1, France’s top-rated television network, has reported 1992 net profits of 451 million francs ($ 80.5 million), a 32.3% increase over 1991.

Overall operating revenues for the year totaled 7.4 billion francs ($ 1.3 billion), a 13.7% increase.

A spokesman said revenues were positively affected by strong performances in subsidiary businesses such as video distribution, telemarketing, book publication and the Eurosport satellite-to-cable network.

Revenues from these subsids rose 15.2% to 1.2 billion francs ($ 215 million).

“The results are better than we expected,” said analyst Jean Jacques Limage of Didier-Phillipe.

According to the TF1 spokesman, “The results evolved in a difficult market environment.”

Web’s management often has complained of unfair practices by state-owned pubcasters France 2 and 3.

In March, TF1 lodged an official complaint with Brussels TV regulators.

Overall profits also reflect a one-time gain of 50 million francs ($ 8.9 million) relating to sale of Paris real estate following consolidation of activities at its Boulogne-Billancourt headquarters.

On the downside, company was forced to make provisions against a series of fines, including a sanction of 30 million francs ($ 5.4 million) imposed by France’s TV regulatory board for not respecting operating obligations.

TF1 observers has been surprised that despite the disappearance last spring of the bankrupt La Cinq, TF1 failed to improve its overall audience share.

Web remains France’s market leader but watched its overall market slip 1% during l992 to 41%. Despite audience dropoff, TF1 is reported to have hiked its advertising rates reflecting the fact that there is one less player in the market.

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