ProSieben Q2 figures show signs of recovery

Shares soar as net profit up nearly 64% to $96 million

COLOGNE, Germany -- The bounce back has begun in the European TV market, if strong quarterly figures by pan-European giant ProSiebenSat.1 are any indication.

Net profit shot up nearly 64% to $96 million (€74.5 million) and revenues increased almost 10% to $984 million (€760.6 million) at the group from April through June this year.

The recovery at ProSieben, which operates free- and pay TV channels in 14 European territories, mirrors the rest of the Euro TV market and appears to be picking up steam. Q1 figures at the group showed a 5% revenue increase.

Forecasts suggest the second half of the year could be even stronger. In ProSieben's core German market, the Federation of German Industries today said it expects the economy to grow by around 2% in 2010, after falling 3.5% last year.

German free-TV revenues at ProSieben were up 8% at $595 million (€459.7 million) but the KKR and Permira-controlled media conglom also saw sales growth in its free-TV operations outside Germany -- where revenue was up 10% at $265 million (€205 million) and in its diversification business, which saw a 14% sales jump to $124 million (€96.1 million) in Q2.

ProSieben also trimmed its debt by about $200 million to a still hefty $4.2 billion (€3.3 billion).

Investors took the figures as a sign the recovery of the European ad market is well underway. ProSieben shares were up more than 10% Monday to €13.73 ($17.77).
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