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TF1 suspends financial objectives as Coronavirus hits ads and production

French commercial broadcaster TF1 has said that its performance this year will be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus crisis, with cancellations of advertising campaigns across key industry sectors and a halt to production activity, and said it was continuously analysing its cost base to look for further ways to save money.

The group said it was suspending the financial objectives announced in February until “the situation becomes clearer”.

The broadcasters said that while its audiences were increasing as a result of the Coronavirus, advertising clients – particularly in sectors that are under pressure such as tourism, cultural goods and transport – were delaying or cancelling a large number of ad campaigns.

It said it expected to take a “significant” hit in terms of advertising revenue this month and especially in April.

The broadcaster said it currently lacks visibility about the impact in May and months to follow.

TF1 said that a similar negative impact was visible in its digital unit Unify but that e-commerce revenues were currently less impacted.

The broadcaster said that its production activity had been hit by the crisis, with the stopping of production on most shows that are produced on an ongoing basis – which account for 30% of production outfit Newen’s output – having a particularly strong impact.

TF1 said it would be able to reduce costs to some extent to compensate the loss of. revenue but that it was too soon to assess the total impact of the crisis on the results of the group.

The broadcaster said that it was nevertheless confident it could weather the storm thanks to a good financial situation with little debt and continued availability of credit.