Corus Q2 earnings nearly double from '07

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TORONTO -- Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment on Thursday posted nearly doubled second-quarter earnings on a lower tax charge and higher cable TV ad revenue.

Toronto-based Corus said it earned CAN$35.4 million ($34.7 million) during the three months ending Feb. 29, compared with a profit of CAN$19.5 million for the same period in 2007.

Second-quarter revenue rose 2% to CAN$178.7 million ($175.2 million), against a year-earlier CAN$174.7 million, as specialty channel ad revenue rose 8% and radio ad revenue increased 4% year-on-year.

Corus' content revenue from Nelvana, the Canadian cartoon producer, fell 24% to CAN$13.2 million ($12.9 million).

The broadcaster's profit line was helped by CAN$13.2 million ($12.9 million) in recoveries related to a reduced income tax rate.

Corus also forecast continued ad revenue gains for its female-skewing cable channels, which include W and Cosmopolitan TV.

Corus CEO John Cassaday told analysts that his company has yet to see major impact on ad revenue from its kids cable channels as food marketers face health and wellness concerns over junk food commercials.

"(Kids advertising) is, in our mind, still promising. You can't expect high single digital growth anymore. But we believe there's a number of categories that value our channels," he said.

Corus also faced tepid second-quarter subscriber growth for Movie Central, its premium pay TV channel, as it adapts to the loss of "The Sopranos" from HBO.
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