Corus predicts clear skies in 2009

Broadcaster expected to post $261 mil operating profit

TORONTO -- Turning aside any notion of an advertising downturn, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment on Thursday forecast "excellent growth prospects" in cable and pay TV as it unveiled its 2009 guidance.

Corus CEO John Cassaday told analysts that the Toronto-based TV and radio broadcaster expected to post an operating profit of CAN$270 million-CAN$280 million ($261 million-$270.5 million) in fiscal 2009.

Corus also predicted free cash flow of CAN$70 million-CAN$90million ($67.3 million-$87 million) for the 2009 calendar year, which began Sept. 1.

Cassaday pointed to growth in women's-themed cable channels, with the addition of Cosmopolitan TV Canada, and in pay TV, with the launch of HBO Canada.

Corus also owns and operates the YTV, Treehouse and W Network cable channels as well as the Movie Central premium pay TV channel. It also runs Canadian cartoon producer Nelvana.