Split picture for Mexico’s Televisa, CIE

Companies offer differing earnings reports

MEXICO CITY — Two of Mexico’s three largest showbiz companies, Grupo Televisa and Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE) reported sharply differing fortunes for the third quarter.

Televisa saw group sales slump 5% to 5.2 billion pesos ($565 million) compared with the same period in 2000. And even though net profits soared 75% to $35 million, rise was dismissed by analysts as due to accounting rather than operational reality, with Televisa declining to consolidate further costs from affiliates such as direct-to-home outfit Sky Mexico.

Televisa’s falling sales were largely blamed on the softening ad market although some analysts said it was performing well in tough times.

Terrestrial broadcasting, the boiler room of Televisa cash generation, saw sales drop nearly 5% to $348 million. But Mexico’s No. 1 TV web insisted group sales had risen nearly 2% allowing for the impact of the 2000 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, CIE, Latin America’s largest live entertainment corporation, saw revenues rise 13% to $137 million while profits jumped to $311 million from $267 million.

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