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Eurosport sale boost for TF1, but ad market still uncertain

French broadcaster TF1 Group received a boost of €293.8 million from the sale of Eurosport in May. The sports broadcaster, now owned by Discovery, turned in a net profit of €310.2 million for the first five months of the year under TF1, ahead of Discovery’s acquisition.

TF1 posted first half revenues of  €1.026 billion, up very slightly from €1.02 billion, despite a fall in advertising revenues, and turned in an operating profit of €255.8 billion, up from €237.2 billion thanks to reduced costs.

First half free-to-air and pay TV advertising revenues amounted to €866.1 million, up from €846.3 million, but advertising revenues fell from €728.5 million to €721 million. Pay TV first half revenues fell from €68.3 million to €63.1 million, thanks to increased competition and a flat advertising market.

On a more positive note, TF1 turned last year’s second quarter operating loss of €20.7 million to a profit of €10.9 million, thanks largely to reduced programming costs.

TF1 posted overall second quarter revenues of €469.7 million, down from €477.2 million last year.

Advertising revenues were more or less stable at €332.9 million, up from €331.8 million, while TF1 Group’s first half pay TV-related revenues slid year-on-year from €33.5 million to €30.9 million.

The pay TV activities’ operating loss of €2.3 million, compared with a €2 million loss last year, pulled the overall figure down. Free-to-air broadcasting and content posted a profit of €3.6 million compared with a €25.9 million loss last year.