Ad sales boost ProSieben

Q1 net profits up 32%

BERLIN — Fueled by increased ad sales across all of its channels, ProSiebenSat 1 saw a strong boost in profit in the first quarter of the year.

The Munich-based broadcasting group posted a 32% upsurge in net profit to Euros 40.6 million ($55 million) as revenue rose 7.7% to $678.4 million.

Company, which was acquired early this year by private equity companies Permira and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, said Wednesday that significantly higher advertising revenues provided the main impetus for growth. In the first three months of the year, TV ad sales grew 5.9% to $593.6 million.

Yet its strong performance was also buoyed by growth in online, pay-TV and video-on-demand operations, added ProSiebenSat 1 CEO Guillaume de Posch.

“The ProSiebenSat 1 group got off to a good start this year,” de Posch said. “We are confident that our stations’ programming will pick up further strength while we continue to build up our diversification and online initiatives.”

The group’s non-advertising division, or diversification unit, which includes transaction TV activities and online operations, grew 22%, contributing $84.7 million to group revenues, equivalent to a 12.5% share.

ProSiebenSat 1 saw revenue and operating profit increases in all five of its free TV channels, Sat 1, ProSieben, Kabel Eins, news web N25 and transaction TV outlet 9Live.

Permira and KKR are planning to merge ProSiebenSat 1 with their pan-European TV group SBS Broadcasting later this year. The German group has been conducting due diligence on SBS and is expected to take over the group later this year, creating a pan-European broadcasting giant to rival Bertelsmann’s RTL Group.

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