Telecinco plans dividend

Net profits for 2004 up 76% on 2003

MADRID — Underscoring the health of Spain’s private broadcasting sector, broadcaster Telecinco posted bumper full-year results Tuesday and proposed an 80% dividend to investors.

The Mediaset-controlled web beat analysts’ upbeat forecasts, posting net profits for 2004 of €215.9 million ($286.5 million), up 76% on 2003, off revenues of $1.05 billion. Before-tax margins stood at an impressive 38%.

“The results are very, very good, with highlights including ad growth and the increase in net profits which is very high,” said Enrique Jimenez, an analyst at Ibersecurities.

Results roll of a growing overall ad market in Spain, TV advertising’s escalating share of that market, Telecinco’s ratings leadership in Spain last year with a 22.1% share, and its aggressive targeting of an advertiser-friendly young adult market.

Telecinco advertising rose 20.7% over 2004, above general TV ad growth of 15.5%.

But Telecinco has also been highly successful honing its long-running primetime domestic series, led by family dramedy “The Serranos,” cop drama “El comisario” and sitcom “7 vidas.” Monday night’s primetime also includes two episodes of “CSI.”

Partially listed from June 2004, Telecinco shares rose 49.5% last year.

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