Corus registers third-quarter bounce

Toronto firm earns $37 mil in three months

TORONTO -- Despite a soft economy, Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment on Wednesday posted higher third-quarter earnings on increased TV revenue and a tax recovery.

Toronto-based Corus said it earned CAN$37.7 million ($37 million) during the three months ending May 31, up 27% from CAN$29.6 million in the same period for 2007.

During the third quarter, a CAN$10 million income tax recovery offset CAN$9.7 million in regulatory fee payments.

Third-quarter revenue rose 5% to CAN$207.8 million ($204 million), compared with a year-earlier CAN$197.6 million.

Corus' TV channels grew revenue 5% to $114.6 million ($112.6 million), the radio division saw revenue rise 3% to CAN$77 million ($75.4 million), while cartoon producer Nelvana pushed its revenue up 12% to CAN$16.3 million ($16 million).

Corus CEO John Cassaday told analysts during a conference call that, despite the economic gloom in Canada, his network's recent upfront TV ad sales stood firm with 2007 levels and registered "modest" price increases.

"Unlike other people predicting dire ad sales for companies like our own, we don't see that. We see good growth prospects going forward," Cassaday told analysts when asked about Corus' advertising market prospects.

Corus owns and operates the YTV, Treehouse and W Network cable channels, and the Movie Central premium pay TV channel.