Bloomberg News

Televisa Gains Most in a Year as Broadcast Ad Sales Recover

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Grupo Televisa SA, the world’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster, gained the most in a year after its advertising sales overcame the absence of Carlos Slim’s business and World Cup soccer broadcasts.

Third-quarter advertising sales in the broadcast division, Televisa’s largest unit, rose 2.4 percent to 6 billion pesos ($444.8 million), compared with the estimate of 5.95 billion pesos by Gregorio Tomassi, an analyst at Banco Santander SA. Advertising sales had declined from a year earlier in the previous two quarters.

Soccer tournaments such as the Copa America helped the unit sell more advertising than last year, when Televisa aired the World Cup finals. Televisa is counting on other large customers after Slim’s companies pulled their advertisements at the beginning of this year because of a pricing dispute, said Executive Vice President Alfonso de Angoitia.

“The investment in advertising by our core, long-lasting client base remains strong,” de Angoitia said today on a conference call. “Televisa’s over-the-air network continues to be their preferred advertising vehicle.”

Televisa rose 5.6 percent to 55.7 pesos at 10:57 a.m. in Mexico City after earlier gaining as much as 6 percent, the biggest intraday gain since Oct. 5, 2010.

Net income dropped to 2.05 billion pesos from 2.2 billion pesos a year earlier, Mexico City-based Televisa said yesterday in a statement. Sales rose 8.1 percent to 16 billion pesos, compared with the 15.8 billion peso average estimate of four analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

‘High-Level Fights’

“Results beat on many important measures, which should help quiet some concerns of the high-level fights between Televisa and Carlos Slim and his entities,” David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, said in a research note today. He advises buying the shares.

Televisa’s cable-TV unit is offering phone and Internet service to compete with Slim’s Telefonos de Mexico SAB, the nation’s largest phone company. The companies have each filed antitrust complaints against the other this year as they jockey for position in Mexico’s telecommunications market.

Net income included a 389-million peso foreign-exchange loss, a non-cash charge reflecting the value of its debt in foreign currency. The peso slid 16 percent against the dollar between June 30 and Sept. 30, the second-worst performer among Latin America’s top currencies after Brazil’s real, on concern that Mexico’s economy would falter as its biggest trading partner, the U.S., struggled to expand.

Satellite Subscriptions

Televisa is diversifying beyond its over-the-air broadcasting business to tap into growing demand for pay-TV service in Mexico, where about 40 percent of households have a cable or satellite subscription, according to government data. Broadcast revenue has slowed as viewers turn to cable channels and the Internet for entertainment.

Televisa last year recorded a gain of 513 million pesos from the sale of its stake in airline Volaris, a one-time benefit that inflated profits compared with this year’s income.

Satellite subscriptions rose by 238,205 to 3.82 million, and the three cable carriers controlled by Televisa added almost 34,000 TV customers for a total of 2.12 million. The carriers are Cablemas SA, Empresas Cablevision SAB and Television Internacional SA.

((Televisa held a conference call today to discuss third- quarter results. To listen to a replay, dial 1-855-859-2056 from the U.S. or +1-404-537-3406 from outside the U.S. and use the code 18392651.))

--Editors: James Callan, Niamh Ring

To contact the reporter on this story: Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net


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