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ProSiebenSat 1 remains in black

Revs at Germany's largest TV fam up by 4% to $1.7 bil

COLOGNE — ProSiebenSat 1 continued its profitable course in the third quarter, a path the company has been traveling since reaching a turnaround to black ink at midyear.

The group’s net profit reached E5.3 million ($97.1 million) vs. a net loss of $4.1 million it had in the first nine months of 2003.

Revenues at Germany’s largest TV family went up by 4% to $1.669 billion. The group noted that all its three major webs — Sat 1, ProSieben, Kabel 1 — had positive performances.

In particular, flagship Sat 1 saw its first operating profit ever after nine months, following a reduction in costs that mainly were in relation to pro soccer.

At the start of the fourth quarter, ratings in the 14-49 demo reached a new peak of 30.9% market share in October, which the group said was the strongest for the month in four years. Highlights cited by CEO Guillaume de Posch for the good performance were mostly new domestic formats and less cost-intensive vintage Hollywood fare such as “Forrest Gump.”

The web group suffered some disappointments recently when Sat 1 had to cancel a daily latenight talkshow with popular host Anke Engelke. Also, a format along the lines of “The Apprentice,” named “Hire and Fire” and featuring producer tycoon John de Mol, bombed and was canceled after its first airing.

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