Media conglom reports 75% rise in Q2 profits

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s Grupo Televisa posted a 75% rise in second-quarter profits on Monday, fueled by heavy advertising from World Cup soccer and the July 2 national elections.

Televisa said earnings for April-June were $204 million compared to $118.5 million in the second quarter of 2005. Results were below analysts’ estimates of around $215 million.

Sales were up nearly 21% to $867 million compared to $729 million in 2005 for combined results of the broadcasting, pay TV, radio, publishing and other divisions.

Broadcasting unit reported a 21.6% rise in sales to $497 million. Satcaster Sky, the web’s second biggest revenue stream, reported a 22.1% jump in revenue to nearly $161 million. Web added nearly 700,000 subs during the quarter, pushing total subscribers to 1.39 million.

Sky, Mexico’s only satellite TV service, was the only outlet in Mexico to show all the World Cup matches.

Growth is expected to slow during the coming year due to a softer ad market.

Televisa has recently launched a gaming unit comprising sports books and bingo halls, which is expected to become a major revenue stream in the next two years.

Televisa was beaten in the June auction of U.S. Hispanic broadcaster Univision by a group of investors that include media mogul Haim Saban and Providence Equity Partners.

Televisa wants to sell its 11% stake in Univision and explore other avenues to enter the U.S. market.

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