'06 a record year for Telecinco

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MADRID -- Spanish broadcasting group Telecinco on Thursday announced record-high profits of €314 million ($415 million) for 2006, an 8.2% increase from the previous year.

Revenue jumped 7.1% to €997.5 million ($1.3 billion), while operating costs rose 10% to €309 million ($408.9 million). EBITDA increased 5.2% to €445.3 million ($585 million).

Ad revenue accounted for €965 million ($1.3 billion) for the company, which saw ad spending grow 6.1% from 2005.

The company, which also owns advertising sales company Publiespana, captured some 30.9% of TV advertising in 2006.

Spain's most profitable TV channel, Telecinco also led the ratings race here. In 2006, Telecinco captured 21.2% of the audience, compared to rival commercial channel Antena 3's 19.4% and pubcaster Television Espanola's 18.3%.

Audience share was bolstered in particular by such local productions as "Hospital Central," with a 30% share; "Aida" (27.6%); "Los Serrano" (25.8%); and "Yo soy Bea" (30.5%).

"We present these results with the enormous satisfaction of obtaining them in the most difficult year in our history," CEO Paolo Vasile said in a statement. "In spite of the obstacles, we've distanced ourselves even further from our competition, in profitability and in audience share."

2006 was a particularly challenging year for the private broadcasters, which saw the addition of two new free-to-air commercial channels launch, Cuatro and La Sexta.
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