Antena 3 profit falls as ad decline bites

Spanish private TV group sees net profit down 54.5%

MADRID -- Spanish private television group Antena 3 on Thursday posted 91.9 million euros ($116.5 million) in net profit for 2008, citing the economic slowdown, increased market fragmentation and sharp decline in advertising as causes of the 54.5% drop in net profit from the year before.

Costs dropped 2% from 2007 and revenue slipped to 833.5 million euros ($1 billion) from 1 billion euros in 2007, which the company attributed to a "strict cost control policy."

While the group trumpeted the fact that it maintained its 23% share of the advertising investment pie, advertising revenue on the group's free-to-air channel and its TDT channels -- Antena 3, Neox and Nova -- dropped 17.4% to 690.6 million euros ($874.7 million).

In addition to its TV channels, Antena 3 owns radio chains Onda Cero and Europa FM, as well as Atres Advertising company and cinema advertising manager Movierecord.

Antena 3, which is controlled by media group Planeta de Agostini, was trading 0.11% down at 3.14 euros ($3.98) after the results were announced.
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