Russian state TV boosts revenue

But still lagging behind industry average

MOSCOW -- Russia's state-run TV companies -- Channel One and VGTRK, which runs the channels Rossiya, Sport and Kultura -- reported profit increases for 2007.

VGTRK's net profits increased threefold to 1.35 billion roubles ($58.2 million) from the previous year.

The profits of Channel One increased 70% from 2006, to 3.12 billion roubles ($134.5 million).

Meanwhile, the increase in revenue at the state-run TV companies lagged behind the average industry figure, which observers attribute to improved performance of niche channels.