TF1 earnings dip 4.9% from same period last year

PARIS — TF1, France’s leading commercial web, posted consolidated profits of E172.3 million ($221.2 million) for the first nine months of 2006, down 4.9% on the same period last year, on revenues up 5.8% to $2.4 billion.

Operating profit was down 20% to $249.7 million, as the high cost of the World Cup soccer rights kicked in.

Full-year TV advertising revenues for the group should grow 3.5%-4%, in line with expectations for the whole of the French TV market, the company forecast. Excluding the World Cup, its hike in programming costs this year would be kept to 3%, it said.

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