TV, print revs boost SBS profits to $17 mil

Increase due to television ops, recently acquired print side

AMSTERDAM — SBS Broadcasting posted an 88% increase in net profit on the back of a 21% rise in revenues in its first half of 2004.

The pan-Euro broadcaster reported net profit of E14.2 million ($17.1 million), up from $9.2 million in the same period a year earlier. Revenues jumped from $326.7 million to $395.9 million year on year.

Television ops and the recently acquired print side were responsible for much of the revenue rise.

SBS posted its first annual profit in its 14-year history in 2003, and it does not plan on letting that extra cash pile up too much.

CEO Markus Tellenbach said SBS would “consider prudent opportunities to grow our business.”

The company recently announced plans to launch a spinoff of its Flemish channel VT4 in Belgium aimed at women ages 20-49 and bought out Norway’s national commercial channel TV2’s stake in TvNorge for $37.1 million. It now owns the channel outright.

Tellenbach made it clear SBS’s main goal was to “maintain positive earnings,” but he added that strategy was focused on “long-term growth” and “an expanding multichannel universe.”

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