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Televisa Profit Climbs as Pay-TV Units Gain Customers

Grupo Televisa SAB, the world’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster, reported a 41 percent increase in third-quarter profit as more Mexicans signed up for cable and satellite television.

Net income climbed to 2.86 billion pesos ($220 million) from 2.02 billion a year earlier, Mexico City-based Televisa said yesterday in a statement. Sales rose 8.7 percent to 17.4 billion pesos, compared with the 17 billion-peso average of six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Televisa is counting on the expansion of its pay-TV businesses as broadcast-advertising sales growth slows with viewers turning to other media such as the Internet. The Sky satellite business lured 332,693 subscribers for a total of 4.88 million, and Televisa’s three cable-TV units added about 30,000 video customers for a total of 2.26 million.

“All the divisions maintained healthy performances, especially demonstrated in the pay-TV segments,” said Julio Zetina, an analyst at Vector Casa de Bolsa SA in Mexico City, in a research note yesterday. “The report was a positive surprise.”

Broadcast advertising sales rose 1 percent to 6.12 billion pesos, missing the 6.36 billion-peso estimate of Vera Rossi, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York.

The company’s loss from stakes in jointly held businesses jumped 71 percent to 209 million pesos, mostly because of its 50 percent ownership of mobile-phone carrier Grupo Iusacell SA, Televisa said. The divestiture earlier this year of a stake in Gestora de Inversiones Audiovisuales La Sexta SA helped mitigate the third-quarter loss, the company said.

Televisa was little changed at 60.61 pesos yesterday in Mexico City before results were announced. The shares have risen 3.2 percent this year.

(Televisa is scheduled to hold a conference call at 8 a.m. New York time to discuss the results. To listen, dial +1-973-582-2717 and provide code 42298789.)

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