China’s TVB boosts profits 15%

HONG KONG — Thanks to “continued dominance in programming,” Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB) reported a 15% improvement in profits for the first six months of the year over the same period in 1996.

And the company anticipates that its expansion into international markets, especially mainland China, will help boost the bottom line over the next few years.

The company reported net profit for the six months ended June 30 of HK$205 million ($26.5 million) compared with HK$178 million ($22.9 million) in the same period a year ago. That was slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations. Revenue rose nearly 11% to $190 million from $172 million.

The company, which holds licenses for two of the city’s four terrestrial channels, attributed its strong showing to the success of its lineup, particularly on the Cantonese-lingo Jade channel. The company airs the less popular English-language programs on its Pearl channel.

“Notwithstanding only modest rebounds in consumer and advertising spending, resulting in only a marginal increase in total Hong Kong advertising spending during the period, the continuing popularity of TVB programs enabled the company to increase its overall share of the television advertising pie and thus boost profits,” the broadcaster said in a statement issued by executive chairman Run Run Shaw.

On the international side of the business, the broadcaster plans to continue to focus “considerable effort and resources” to meet the demand for programming. TVB is considered one of the prime exporters of Chinese-language dramas in Asia.

“China presents many opportunities and a potentially lucrative market for TVB programming,” the company said. “We will continue to explore ways to help China meet its massive needs for quality TV entertainment and will allocate production resources there as well as to other emerging markets in the region.”

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