Soft German market cuts ProSieben's Q2

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Problems in its core German market weighed on broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 in the second quarter, but analysts are cautiously bullish that the company might be through the worst.

ProSieben booked revenue of €801.9 million ($1.2 billion) and reported EBITA profit of €189.3 million ($293 million) for the quarter, an increase of 45% and 19%, respectively. But if you strip out last year's purchase of SBS Broadcasting, the figures turn from black to red.

Consolidated sales of ProSieben and SBS were down 4% compared with this time last year, and recurring EBITA was down 16.6%.

The German market was the problem child, with revenue off about 9% and recurring EBITA down 22%. Consolidated net profit was down 32% to €59.5 million ($92 million).

ProSieben blamed the drop on its ad sales model, which the company dropped in May after complaints from major German agencies.

Daniel Kerven of UBS nevertheless gave investors a "buy" recommendation for ProSieben, saying that second-quarter results beat reduced expectations and advertising revenue should stabilize in the second half.

But ProSieben CEO Guillaume De Posch said the company is unlikely to match 2007 profit and revenue figures, predicting a flat full-year performance at best. (partialdiff)
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