Antena 3 Sees Ad-Share Growth Amid Tough Conditions

Antena 3 de Television SA, Spain’s second-biggest commercial television station, predicts its advertising market share will grow next year even as companies scale back ad spending, its chief financial officer said.

Antena 3 expects to end this year with more than 43 percent of the Spanish TV advertising market, which may have a year-end value of 1.85 billion euros ($2.4 billion), or about 20 percent less than in 2011, Antonio Manso said in an interview yesterday at a conference organized by Morgan Stanley. The ad market may shrink 5 percent next year, he said.

“Market conditions are very tough but we are totally sure that next year we’ll be closer to 44 percent than to 43 percent” in market share, Manso said. “Audience is going very well in all our channels and it’s very stable.”

As Spanish businesses deal with the country’s worst economic crisis in recent decades, commercial television stations’ profits are tumbling. Antena 3 and Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA led consolidation in the industry by merging with channels La Sexta and Cuatro, respectively, in order to gain market share and boost savings.

Antena 3 shares fell 0.7 percent to 3.02 euros at 10:34 a.m. in Madrid, bringing the decline this year to 35 percent.

“Antena 3 is doing pretty well amid plummeting ad sales in general, even better than Mediaset Espana, which is now catching up,” Francisco Salvador, a Madrid-based strategist at FGA/MG Valores, said by phone. “Advertisers are now wondering how much value TV ads really have, and Antena 3 is also doing a bit better on that front.”

Antena 3 said last month its nine-month net income fell 91 percent to 4.6 million euros from 52 million euros a year earlier as sales fell 12 percent to 494 million euros.

Mediaset Espana, Spain’s biggest commercial television station, posted a 60 percent drop in nine-month net income and a 14 percent sales decline.

“We have cut prices much more than was reasonable,” Manso said. “The market could fall more next year because of a drop in volume as demand continues weak, but not in terms of prices.”

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