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Televisa first quarter rev up 5 %

Media conglom's net sales rise to 4.8 billion pesos

MEXICO CITY — A bigger slice of Univision’s pay TV income and an uptick in domestic ad sales boosted first quarter revenue for Grupo Televisa by 5%, while cost and debt restructuring contributed to a 200% increase on the bottom line.

The Mexican media conglom and No. 1 broadcaster saw net sales rise to 4.8 billion pesos ($446million) forom $426 million in the first three months of 2002.

The conglom attributed this to higher royalties from Univision communications under a renegotiated programming deal and to more air minutes sold on its four broadcast networks. Ad revenue at the broadcast division, which accounted for 60% of the conglom’s overall sales, rose 2.2% to $272 million.

The top line also got a boost from the 13% jump in pay TV programming revenues from cablers and DTH systems in Mexico and Latin America, to $14.5 million.

Grupo Televisa reported group profits of $23 million, more than triple the $6.5 million for the first quarter of 2002.

The company attributed its improved bottom line to cost and debt restructuring.

Terrestrial broadcaster rival TV Azteca last week reported a 2% increase in sales but a 65% drop in profits, which it blamed on the weakening peso.

Televisa exex expect revenue in the second-quarter to be flat compared to last year, which was powered by World Cup soccer. However, the broadcaster is anticipating some $35 million in political advertising related to the July congressional elections.