Prisa Posts Drop in Net Profit, Cites Sale of Cuatro

Advertising revenue shows slight gain from second quarter.

MADRID - Spanish media giant Prisa posted net revenues on Monday for the first nine months of 2011 of €17.9 million ($25 million), an 80.4 percent plunge from the same period last year due primarily to extraordinary events, including the sale of free TV channel Cuatro in 2011.

Mediaset-controlled Telecinco finalized the acquisition of Cuatro earlier this year.

Prisa's EBITDA grew from January to September to $525 million, 19.9 percent less than the previous year, while revenues dropped 2.4 percent to $2.76 billion.

Advertising revenue dropped 7.2 percent from the same time last year to $613.6 million, though the figure does indicate a slight improvement from the 2011's first and second quarter.

In Prisa's audiovisual division, revenue totaled $1.29 billion and boasted 1.83 million pay TV subscribers, of which 56,318 correspond to wholesale distribution and DTT. Net adds of DTH subscribers performed reached 7,040 in the third quarter, compared with -20.788 the same period last year. Churn rate continued to decrease to 13.5 percent. Subscribers to iPlus and Multi+ services rose almost by 50 percent for the first nine months of the year.

The company is in the process of refinancing its debt, which topped 4 billion euros in 2010, with a complex plan that includes asset sales and cash injections from U.S. fund Liberty and the founding shareholders, the Polanco family. Liberty became the majority shareholder.

The Polancos, known as Timon, have committed to convert 75 million warrants of 2 euros a share into a capital injection of 150 million euros.


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