Net revenue up 14% in first six months

BRUSSELS — Revenue and profits are up at TF1, Gaul’s biggest private broadcaster.

Half-year results released Friday report net revenue of E1.3 billion ($1.7 billion), up 14% on the same period last year. Net profit was up 51% to $95 million.

Performance was driven by an 11% increase in advertising revenue on its main channel, to $986 million.

Major boost in the period was World Cup soccer, which gave TF1 its best audience figures of the year to date when France lost to Mexico on June 17.

Final between Spain and Holland pulled in the best audience for a match without French presence since records began in 1989.

TF1 paid $155 million for the exclusive rights, clawing back $43 million by re-selling to other Gallic webs Canal Plus and France Televisions.

Added to partnerships and other benefits, with gross ad revenue for the matches on TF1 put at $97 million by TF1 — real net ad revs will have come in at roughly half that sum — company said use of the rights had been “optimized.”

Internationally, TF1’s Eurosport satellite business saw revenue grow by 23% compared with last year to $233 million. Growth is attributed to expansion in South-East Asia and Australia, and a strategy to develop complementary channels and high-definition TV.

Picture is less rosy at TF1’s domestic film and vid business, where earnings were down 13% to $77 million.

Big-screen successes such as “Camping 2” and “Les Aventures extraordinaires d’Adele Blanc-Sec” failed to balance the relatively low number of releases. Home vid, meanwhile, saw declining prices, volumes and releases.

Company now expects its full-year revenue to rise 7% on 2009 to $3.2 billion.

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