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TF1 sees boost from World Cup and Premium but costs take toll

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has posted strong first-half revenues on the back of a successful football World Cup, with revenues up 3.9% to €1.084 billion.

Advertising revenues were up by 3.6% to €812.4 million, with free-to-air and digital ad revenues contributing to the growth.

TF1 also reported strong pay TV growth, with revenue from other activities up 4.9% to €271.2 million, thanks to the commercialization of the ‘TF1 Premium’ offering as part of telecom operators’ propositions. TF1 struck new deals with France’s telecom operator at the turn of the year that saw the broadcaster receive retransmission payments in exchange for supplying an enhanced offering including startover and enriched catch-up services.

The group maintained its audience share, with its flagship channel up year-on-year thanks to the World Cup. On-demand platform MYTFI saw 704 million videos viewed in the first half, up 12%.

Despite the growth in revenue, TF1 saw its EBITA slide from €108 million last year to €100.5 million, attributed to the impact of €45 million in costs related to the World Cup being accounted for in the quarter, offset by reduced programming costs elsewhere. Group operating profit was down by €11 million to €89.5 million, thanks in part to the amortisation of revalued rights related to the acquisition of Newen Studios, while net profit was down by €9 million to €65.8 million, impacted by the effect in the comparative period last year of the sale of TF1’s stake in AB Group to Mediawan.