Spanish media conglom PRISA’s profits up 28%

MADRID — Spain’s largest media conglomerate, PRISA, has just reported net profits of $ 41.7 million for 1992, a 28% increase over 1991 figures.

Overall revenue for all the PRISA groups totaled $ 661.2 million, which CEO Juan Luis Cebrian said was a “record in the history of our society.”

Cebrian was quick to add, however, that given the recession facing Spain at present, these glowing figures might not be repeated again in the near future.

Canal Plus losses

One of PRISA’s most important holdings, pay-TV service Canal Plus Spain, of which it is a 25% controlling partner, still registered losses of approximately $ 25 million, cutting its 1991 losses of $ 53.4 million by more than half.

With more than 665,000 subscribers now, however, Canal Plus has projected profits of $ 16 million for 1993. The channel had always maintained that the tide would turn on losses once it reached 500,000 subscribers.

Meanwhile, the leading national newspaper, El Pais, which is wholly owned by PRISA, broke its circulation records in 1992 with daily sales of more than 400, 000.

Radio network La SER, 97% controlled by PRISA, showed a $ 7.5 million profit, which was 28% less than 1991, owing to revenue going to assume first-year losses in the network’s major shareholding interest in French radio network M-40.

PRISA also acquired a 49% stake in radio web Antena 3, which led to a thorny battle between some of the major media moguls in Spain. The new ownership basically led to the severing of ties between the radio network and its longtime sister Antena 3 TV, which is now controlled by rival multimedia group Zeta.