Conglomerate earns $71 million

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s biggest media conglom Grupo Clarin earned 216.8 million pesos ($71 million) in the first half of this year, more than twice the $34.1 million it earned in the same time last year, it said Monday.

Net sales rose 33% to $856.7 million from $645.8 million a year earlier, led by a rise in subscription revenue for cable and Internet access and higher advertising and programming sales. It boosted cable subs by 6.6% to 3.1 million during the period.

The increase in its cable and Internet business, however, boosted costs, including bigger payouts for programming, salary increases and maintenance, Clarin said.

Administrative and sales costs went up by more than 30% during the period. It also paid more for TV rights for soccer matches.

Clarin, which is controlled by four directors and part owned by New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs, also has interests in film production, TV broadcasting and production, sports programming and print media.

It is behind hit TV programs including “ShowMatch,” which has been topping ratings with a dance competition, and films including a remake of “High School Musical.”

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