PARIS — M6, France’s second biggest private net, posted a better-than-expected drop in first-half net profits of 27% on the previous year to E79.2 million ($124.1 million).
The group blamed the drop in core profits on investment costs, including $78.35 million for broadcasting rights for some of the European Cup soccer tournament matches. The M6 Group’s share price was hit hard in June by France’s early exit from the competition.
The earnings slump still beat out the half-year predictions of 10 analysts polled by Reuters, which averaged $111.3 million.
The M6 Group reported consolidated revenues to June 30 of E709.1 million ($1.11 billion), almost unchanged from the same period of 2007 of E709.2 million.
The group’s overall advertising revenues were up 4% on the past year at $648.7 million, including a 0.6% rise for the flagship M6 channel in a generally sluggish national TV advertising market for free-to-air broadcasters as DTT networks offer ever-stronger competition.
The Group’s nine DTT channels saw a 27.9% revenue increase over the same period of 2007. Growth was led by the W9 channel, which nearly doubled its national audience share last month to 1.9% from June 2007.
Ad revenues for digital channels and other media jumped 41.7% on the year to $73.5 million. Non-advertising revenues were down 5.1% on the year.
On Thursday, M6 shares closed up 0.21% at $22.36.