Prisa posts record $135 mil benefits

Ad revs, program sales bounce back

MADRID — Underscoring Spain’s advertising rebound, Prisa, the 24% managing shareholder of Spanish pay TV giant Sogecable, posted record full year profits of €103.25 million ($134.8 million), 70% up on 2003. Revenues rose 9% to $1.86 billion.

Sogecable will announce its results shortly. Grouped under the Localia banner, Prisa’s local TV interests confirmed their status as a promising growth business, increasing ad revs and program sales by 48% and 38% respectively.

The major profit drivers at Prisa were a 11% upswing in ad coin, buoyed by an 11.5% rise in ad returns at “El Pais,” Spain’s most-read quality newspaper, and $149.0 million revenues, up 109%, from special promotions, such as the cut-price kiosk sales of DVDs.

Presenting Prisa’s results Friday, CEO Juan Luis Cebrian argued that Spain’s ad recovery will continue this year at growth levels above 2004. “These are good results. Profits exceeded expectations, given that taxation came in at around 10% and we were expecting 28%,” said Enrique Jimenez, an analyst at Ibersecurities.

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