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Prisa posts strong first half results

Revenues up 52%

MADRID — Prisa, the controlling shareholder of Spanish pay TV giant Sogecable, posted very solid first half results of Euros 73.3 million ($101.3 million) net profits off sales of $2.55 billion.

The 52% hike in 1H revenues owes much to the consolidation in results of Sogecable and Portuguese TV holding Media Capital, which owns top rating broadcaster TVI.

But Prisa’s admirable performance plays off a bevy of circumstances, which bode well in the midterm: sustained growth in Spanish printed press and radio ad revs; the resilience of Latin American markets; buoyant results from both TVI and Sogecable broadcaster Cuatro.

Cuatro has reached breakeven after only a year and a half, reporting second-quarter operating profits of $21.3 million.

In Portugal, Media Capital took an all day 33.4% share January-June.

“These are very positive results. Prisa isn’t the cheapest stock in the Spanish media sector — that’s Vocento — but it’s the stock with the best outlook and momentum,” said Glen Spencer Chapman at Ibersecurities.

The only cloud on Prisa’s horizon surrounds Sogecable’s retention of Spanish soccer league rights. Some clubs’ rights have been acquired by rival Mediapro. Sogecable still owns others and, after its new triple play marketing and acquisition partnership with telco Telefonica, still dominates pay TV in Spain.

“Mediapro and Sogecable look condemned to come to an understanding on soccer, at least for the short term,” said Spencer Chapman.

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