Astral takes off

Ad sales keep profits on a higher plane

TORONTO — Astral Media continues to turn in upbeat fiscal reports, with second-quarter profit up 17% on the strength of a strong TV ad market, particularly among its specialty channels.

Montreal-based pay and specialty TV, radio and outdoor advertising company posted a net profit of C$16.1 million ($11.9 million) in the quarter ended Feb. 29, up from $10.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue was up 5% to $87.3 million. Television division, which includes Family Channel, Viewer’s Choice and the Movie Channel, turned in the top performance, with revenue up 7.5% to $66.8 million. Radio revenue was up slightly, at $15.6 million from $15.9 million, and outdoor ad revenue dropped marginally, to $4.9 million from $5.1 million.

“The strong contribution of our television business, both in terms of advertising and subscriber revenues, was significant to our growth in the second quarter,” prexy-CEO Ian Greenberg said. “As we have seen in the past, our well-balanced revenue mix helps alleviate the seasonal fluctuations of advertising revenues.”

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