Premium pushes Mediaset into the red

MediasetMediaset was pulled into the red in the first quarter, posting a loss of €18 million compared with a profit of €0.6 million for the same period last year, thanks to continued losses at pay TV unit Mediaset Premium, now to be acquired by Vivendi.

Mediaset said that its losses from “discontinued operations” amounted to €56.6 million, against a profit of €0.7 million last year. The group said in the preamble to its results that it would give “separate indications” of “the contribution generated by he business areas destined to exit the area before the end of the third quarter of the current year”.

Overall, the Italian broadcaster’s revenues grew from €718.5 million to €786.1 million, thanks to strong growth in the Italian advertising market. EBIT for the quarter was €105.4 million, up from €44.6 million.

Mediaset said it now expected its advertising revenues for the first half to remain positive in “more stable market conditions”. It said its second half results would reflect changes including the expected closing of its agreement with Vivendi in the third quarter and the consolidation of radio outfit Finelco Group.