Univision's Q3 gets kick from World Cup

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Spanish-language media company Univision Communications Corp. on Thursday reported an 11% increase in its third-quarter profit as the broadcaster continued to benefit from a strong advertising market, particularly fueled by the summer's soccer World Cup in Germany.

The company, which in June agreed to be acquired for $12.3 billion by private-equity firms and media investor Haim Saban, posted a profit of $88.1 million, up 11% year-over-year.

Revenue rose 7.8% to $536.1 million, with the World Cup contributing about $24.7 million. Excluding its impact, Univision said its quarterly revenue was up 2.8% compared with a year ago.

Overall, TV revenue jumped 14.8% in the third quarter to $394.2 million. Radio and Internet revenue also improved, but music unit revenue fell from $50.8 million to $29.5 million.

Management did not hold a conference call to discuss the results with Wall Street analysts.

"This was another successful quarter for Univision, as reflected in our strong financial performance and continuing ratings leadership," Univision chairman and CEO Jerrold Perenchio said. "We are very pleased with the momentum we are experiencing in the key areas of our business as we continue to benefit from the strength of our assets and the rapidly increasing interest in Spanish-language media in the U.S."

Perenchio added that Univision remains on track to complete its sale during first-quarter 2007.

For the third quarter, the company said it incurred charges of $3.8 million for "strategic alternative" costs, $2.7 million for Televisa litigation costs and payments made under protest as well as $3.2 million for stock-based compensation.

Before the earnings update, Univision shares closed up fractionally at $35.08. The stock has traded between $26.77-$36.67 during the past 52 weeks.
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