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Sogecable edges out of red

Gross operating profits jump

MADRID — Sogecable’s third-quarter results suggest that Spain’s biggest film and TV conglom is edging ever nearer to the break-even point, powered principally by increases in subscribers for its digital platform, CanalSatellite Digital (CSD).

Gross operating profits for the period January to September, before taxes and financial costs, were Pta 9.72 billion ($61 million), up 246% on the same period in 1998. Net losses at Sogecable dropped to $2.46 million for the September quarter, down from $11.7 million a year earlier.

Total net losses for the first nine months of the year were up on 1998, but in a statement, the company ascribed the rise to less extraordinary income in 1999 (the previous year, for example, saw the sale of a sports advertising contract for the Real Madrid soccer club).

Driving the move toward break-even point, which Sogecable aims to reach next year, is continuing increase of subs on its satcaster CSD, which had 750,000 subscribers at the end of September.

Sogecable is controlled by Spanish publishing group Prisa and French pay TV giant Canal Plus, each with 20%.

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