TV Azteca posts Q4 net profit leap


Mexico City -- TV Azteca, Mexico's No. 2 network, on Wednesday posted a sevenfold increase in fourth-quarter net income driven by strong ad sales in Mexico and the U.S. Hispanic market.

The Mexico City-based broadcaster reported a quarterly net profit of 692 million pesos ($64 million), up from 93 million pesos a year earlier. Net profit for the full year grew 71%. Net sales increased 3% to 2.6 billion pesos for the fourth quarter and 7% for the full year to 9.6 billion pesos, representing an all-time high for the network.

"Higher sales during the year result from the success of our programming grids in Mexico, further improvement of revenue coming from the U.S. Hispanic market and advertising related to extraordinary events," said Azteca chief executive Mario San Roman.

Ad revenue earned from World Cup transmissions and political ad spending for federal elections contributed significantly to the overall increase.

Quarterly net sales for Azteca America, the company's U.S. Spanish-language broadcast network, grew by 20% to 118 million pesos.

Azteca America ranks third behind market leaders Univision and NBC Universal's Telemundo. Looking to boost its presence in the burgeoning Latino market, Azteca has been spending more cash on programming and production to gain larger audiences stateside. Currently, the network is producing "Las Suegras" (The In-laws), its first reality show in the U.S.