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Astral results for qtr., 9 months are heavenly

Earnings increased 19% to C$76.1 million

MONTREAL — Canuck broadcaster Astral Media, which owns pay, pay-per-view and specialty channels here, posted boffo results for the third quarter and nine-month periods thanks to strong performance by its TV and radio divisions.

Net earnings for the first nine months increased 19% from the previous year to C$76.1 million ($63 million), up from $53 million last year. Net earnings in the third quarter at the Montreal-based company increased 18% to $25 million from $21.2 million a year earlier.

Consolidated revenues for the nine months were $340 million, up 6% from $321 million a year earlier, while consolidated revs for the third quarter were $120 million, up 3% from $116 million.

Strong advertising revenue drove growth in the TV division, with a 28% increase in advertising sales in the third quarter. Pay TV subscribers increased 2% in the quarter. In its radio sector, advertising revenues were up 7% in the quarter.

Cash flow for the first nine months was up 13% to $105 million from $93 million last year. Cash flow in the third quarter was up 12% to $41 million, compared with $37 million in the same quarter last year. These increases were the result of growth across all Astral’s divisions.

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