ProSiebenSat.1 On Course For Record Year

Q1 profits nearly double to $57 Million, quarterly revenue tops $1 billion.

COLOGNE, Germany – Pan-European broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 is on course for a record year after it boosted revenues and nearly doubled profits in the first quarter of 2011.

The small screen powerhouse, headquarted in Germany, saw its net profits jump 76.5 percent to $57 million (€38.3 million) in the first three months of this year while Q1 revenue inched up nearly 4 percent to $1 billion (€682.8 million).

Having just sold its sluggish channel consortium in the Benelux region – ProSieben signed a $1.8 billion buyout deal last month with a consortium led by Big Brother creator John de Mol – the group is now leaner and more focused on its core markets of German-speaking Europe and Scandinavia.

For the full year, ProSieben CEO Thomas Ebeling has forecast high single digit growth. Eberling is expecting little or no growth in free-TV advertising in Germany – ProSieben’s main source of revenue – but he says sharp increases in non-traditional revenues sources – online advertising, VOD and music sales, as well as a strong Nordic TV market, will more than compensate.

One splotch of red ink on ProSieben’s ledger is its call-in channel 9Live, which saw sales sink 34 percent to under $14 million (€9.2 million) in Q1. As of May 31, 9Live will stop broadcasting live and shift its schedule from call-in quiz shows to fictional programming gleaned from ProSieben’s back catalog.