Spanish broadcasters bounce back

Spanish commercial broadcasters Mediaset España and Atresmedia have delivered strong first half results, providing solid evidence of a recovery in the country’s advertising market in the second quarter, following a decline in the COVD-19-hit first three months.

Atresmedia turned in first half revenues of €464.8 million, up from €374.9 million for the same period last year, while EBITDA doubled to €91.2 million.

In pay TV, Atresmedia reported strong growth for its ATRESplayer Premium service, which had 437,000 subscribers as of June 30, 1.7 times the number it had at the same point last year.

Mediaset España posted revenues of €423.6 million, up 12.9%, while ad revenues were up 25% to €4.6.1 million. The company turned in EBITDA of €112.8 million. The broadcaster said that its Mitele platform counted 3.1 million unique users in the first half.

Despite continued economic difficulties in the wake of the pandemic, Spain’s ad spend overall rose by 18.4% in the first half, according to Infoadex. TV advertising rose by 22.9% in the same period.

Analysts at Berenberg hailed the strong performance of both broadcasters but said that “the acid test of recovery” would come in September, when comparable performance last year had improved.

The analysts said that Atresmedia’s relatively stronger performance in the period reflected the fact that last year Mediaset was still offering La Liga football on-demand, making its comparables tougher to match.

Berenberg noted that Mediaset’s stock was “absurdly cheap”, while Atresmedia represented “extremely good value”. The analysts stated a preference for Mediaset, which they believe to be undervalued once an adjustment is made for ProSiebenSat.1’s stake in the company, for which only dividends are recognised.

Berenberg also believes that Mediaset España is more likely to be involved in future cross-border consolidation, given its parentage, while Atresmedia is less likely to be a player in consolidation going forwards.

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