Televisa revenue up 47.7% in Q1

Mexican broadcaster sees $126 million gain

Mexico’s top broadcaster Televisa reported a gain of $126 million in net sales and 47.7% jump in majority interest profit in the first quarter of 2008 Thursday, driven by its consistent TV sales and burgeoning feevees.

The conglom posted sales of $896 million, featuring a majority interest profit of $99 million with an operating income of $224 million, an 11.6% increase over first quarter 2007.

In calculating this quarter’s results, Televisa revised its 2007 figures to reflect new changes in Mexican reporting standards that no longer take inflation into account.

The web continues to dominate TV screens commanding a 72.8% audience share during weekday primetime. Overall, the TV division took in $365 million, 1.1% over the same time last year, in large part due to strong ratings on Televisa’s channel 2.

Televisa’s cable and telco segments boasted a whopping 90.8% jump in net sales, reaching $98.9 million. After costs, this translates to a $30.8 million operating income, a rise of 62.6% over 2007. The web attributed the rise to the consolidation of telco Bestel and a 48.4% expansion in broadband subscribers among other factors.

The conglom also noted a 60.4% sales growth in other businesses including its gaming, film distribution and radio divisions. While still operating at a $2.4 million loss, the division is headed towards the black due to higher sales and lower operating expenses.

Televisa’s satellite service Sky reported sales of $205 million, up 10.2% on 2007, resulting from an increase in the subscriber base in Mexico and the launch of operations in Central America.

First-quarter programming exports sales increased 10.5% or $5.16 million over 2007. This growth was driven by a 7.8% increase in royalties from Univision, which amounted to $32.2 million for the quarter.

Televisa and Univision are scheduled for an appearance in a Los Angeles federal courtroom on April 29, where a long-standing feud over royalties on shared content could free Televisa from its contractual obligations.

Looking ahead, the broadcaster offered a forecast of 4.5% growth in operating income for 2008.

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