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TV Azteca earnings drop

Mexican b'caster to release earnings on July 28

MEXICO CITY — TV Azteca has warned investors that second-quarter earnings will drop 4% from $180 million to $172 million due to a year-to-year fall from 2002’s one-time $25 million from the World Cup soccer tournament.

Mexico’s second-largest broadcaster will release earnings on July 28.

TV Azteca said the $10 million income from political advertising leading up to Mexico’s July 6 national elections was not sufficient to make up for the soccer revenue, even though this campaign season has been the most expensive in Mexican history. Earlier this year, TV Azteca’s larger rival Grupo Televisa said it expected to bring in $35 million in political advertising during the campaign.

At the same time, TV Azteca said it expects to announce that overhead decreased a significant 12% to $88 million from $100 million a year earlier, as transmission costs for the political slugfest were lower than those for the World Cup. TV Azteca also said it expected to report a record $84 million EBITDA, a measure of profitability that does not take into account financing and accounting decisions.

Separately, Azteca Holdings, majority owner of TV Azteca, announced the refinancing of $108 million in bonds, just before the expiration of $150 million in debt.

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