Mediaset Third-Quarter Revenue Rises in Signs of Recovery

  • The TV broadcaster posted quarterly advertising sales increase
  • Mediaset expects full-year net income after quarterly loss

Mediaset SpA, Italy’s largest commercial TV broadcaster, reported a 4.6 percent increase in third-quarter revenue as advertising sales showed the first signs of improvement after the economy started recovering from its longest slump since World War II.

Revenue totaled 693.3 million euros ($741 million), Mediaset, controlled by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts predicted 689 million euros on average. The Milan-based company reported a net loss of 60.1 million euros, compared with a loss of 26.3 million euros a year earlier and the average estimate of a loss of 51 million euros. The company forecast full-year net income.

Matteo Cardani, deputy head of marketing for Mediaset’s advertising unit Publitalia ’80, said on a call with analysts that the company expects “single-digit” growth in advertising in the fourth quarter.

Mediaset is cutting costs while boosting spending on programs to lure customers to its pay-TV offering. The broadcaster in July bought three-year Italian TV rights for the Super Bowl and reached non-exclusive deals with phone carriers such as Telecom Italia SpA to put more of its programs on mobile devices.

Italian television ad sales declined 1.6 percent to 2.54 billion euros in the first nine months of the year, according to market research firm Nielsen.

Mediaset shares rose 1.6 percent to 4.72 euros in Milan, giving the company a market value of 5.6 billion euros.

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