France's M6 Q1 revenue up 9.7%

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PARIS -- French commercial broadcaster M6 is off to a strong start in 2007, with €338.6 million ($461.9 million) in consolidated revenue for the first trimester, a 9.7% jump from the same period last year, the group announced Wednesday.

Advertising revenue reached €165.9 million ($225.4 million) for the first three months of the year, representing an 8.7% increase from 2006 and a 24.4% ad market share, up 1.8 points.

Revenue from other activities, such as digital channels, rose 10.6% to €172.7 million ($234.6 million).

The only Gallic channel to see improved audience results in the first part of the evening, M6 attracted more than 5 million viewers on 14 different nights in its first trimester. It managed that feat only seven times in the comparable 2006 period.

The group's digital channels saw a 37.2% increase in revenue, and a 64% jump in ad revenue thanks to strong performances from digital cable networks W9, Paris Premiere, Teva and TF6.

During the first trimester of 2007, the group bought a new building for their offices situated in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a Paris suburb, and bought out minority shares of Teva.

The group's distribution wing, SND/M6, also recently signed a multiyear deal with U.S. production company Summit Entertainment to release that company's films in France. Shareholders will receive a €0.95 ($1.29) per share as of May 4.
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