Mediaset profits soar

Ad revs rise, overall up 15% to $1.1 bil

MILAN — Profits before taxes at Italy’s leading TV group Mediaset for the first half of 2000 rose 19.8% to $450 million and operating profits went up 26.2% to $455 million compared to the year-earlier period.

Revenues increased 15% to 2.49 trillion lire ($1.1 billion).

In the first eight months of the year, advertising revenues from television rose by 15%, the group said. Mediaset controls Italy’s three leading commercial YV networks, Canale 5, Italia 1 and Rete 4.

Group, controlled by Italo media tycoon turned politician Silvio Berlusconi, announced that it increased its stake in Spanish TV network TeleCinco to 45% from 40%. In the first half of the year, TeleCinco registered a 67.9% increase in net earnings to 15.9 billion pesetas ($82.8 million); operating profits rose 71.4% to $128.1 million.

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