Antena 3 profits rise

B'caster eliminates financial debt

MADRID — Posting some of the best financial results of any free-to-air private broadcaster in Europe, Spain’s Antena 3 announced a 73% increase in net profits to $122 million for 1999. Net revenues for the year stood at $586 million.

Rolling off a dramatic 23% hike in its ad revenues last year, the results mark a spectacular recovery for Antena 3 under CEO Juan Jose Nieto, A3 CEO since 1997.

Before Telefonica bought Antena 3 in July of 1997, it had clawed its way to become the top-rated channel in Spain at the expense of a large debt load. But A3 has eliminated its financial debt, Nieto reported on March 7. A3, which is 49% owned by Telefonica Media,now looks set to drive hard into further diversification, Nieto signaled, especially e-commerce and interactive TV.

Led by its teleshopping division A3D, diversified activities already accounted for 13% of A3’s total sales in 1999.

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