Antena 3’s Q1 profits down 30%

Broadcaster posts loss in first quarter

MADRID  — The Antena 3 Group, whose crown jewel is Spanish commercial broadcaster Antena 3, saw first-quarter net profits fall 29.9% fall to E31.3 million ($50.1 million), the company announced Thursday.

Results were dented by an early Easter and March 9 general elections in Spain.

Also housing radio net Onda Cero and cinema ad company Movierecord, the media group posted revenues of $344.2 million for the March quarter, 8.5% down on a year earlier.

The group estimated in its results report that Spain’s media ad market had dipped 4% over the period.

Costs were cut 8.7% to $252.8 million due to programming savings at Antena and lower stock-related pay outs to employees. 

Operating profits (EBIT) dropped 17.8% to $88.2 million.

Reacting both to prospects of a declining TV ad market in Spain and Antena 3’s results, its shares dropped 5.7% to $12.40 in Thursday trading.

Results come a day after CEO Maurizio Carlotti was promoted to VP of the Antena 3 Group, with Silvio Gonzalez taking over day-to-day operations as CEO.

Carlotti was appointed CEO in April 2003 after Spanish-Italian media group DeAPlaneta took over the broadcaster.

After a tough year, in which he slashed debt and lowered costs, partly by laying off staff, he turned Antena 3 into one of Europe’s most profitable nets, judged by profit margins.

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