Big jump for Astral Q2 earnings

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Astral Media on Monday more than doubled its second-quarter earnings thanks to a major radio acquisition and a CAN$28.3 million ($27.7 million) income tax recovery.

Montreal-based Astral earned CAN$57.3 million ($56 million) during the quarter ending Feb. 28, compared with a profit of CAN$24.6 million in 2007.

Excluding the income tax recovery, Astral earned CAN$29 million ($28.4 million).

Revenue rose 38% to CAN$206.9 million ($203 million), against a year-earlier CAN$149.9 million.

Astral said that radio revenue jumped to CAN$76 million ($74.5 million), against a year-earlier CAN$25.7 million, after Astral became Canada's largest radio station operator following the purchase of rival Standard Broadcasting last year. Cable TV channel and premium pay TV revenue came to CAN$118.7 million ($116.3 million), compared with CAN$115 million in 2007.
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