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M6’s net profit increasing

France's broadcaster boost

PARIS — M6, France’s second terrestrial broadcaster, saw its net profit rise 24% to e82 million ($94.2 million) in the first half of 2003, boosted by non-core activities and M6’s stake in the satellite platform TPS.

Ad revs in the same period rose 4.7% to $346 million, on group revenues of $699 million, up 10.8%. Programming costs were up 6.5% to $134.4 million.

The web owned by Germany’s RTL Group and French utilitites group Suez upped its stake in TPS from 25% to 34% last year. TF1, France’s leading free-to-air web, owns 66%.

As of last month, TPS had 1.4 million subscribers, including 246,000 cable customers to its premium channel. The satellite platform posted operating profit of $15.3 million for the first half of the year, although it is expected to post a year-end loss.

M6’s other non-core businesses, including a handful of cable and satellite channels, saw revenues rise 23.3% to $250.5 million.

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