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Mediaset on the up as it completes Dutch move

Mediaset has now moved its registered office to the Netherlands, fulfilling a long-ambition that was also long-delayed because of the dispute between the Italian media company and one of its major shareholders, Vivendi.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi will now be CEO of Mediaset NV, the new Dutch registered company, with Fedele Confalonieri serving as chairman. Mediaset’s EU ‘member state of origin’ will now be the Netherlands rather than Italy.

The move comes as Mediaset last week reported strong first half results on the back of an advertising recovery in its two major markets, Italy and Spain. A planned merger between the Italian and Spanish arms of the company was the key rationale behind the move to the Netherlands.

Mediaset posted net revenues of €1.387 billion for the first half, up from €1.166 billion last year. The second quarter was particularly strong, with revenues of €753 million compared with €484 million in 2020.

Commenting on the results, analysts at Berenberg said that “the standout in this segment of the media sector is Mediaset España” whose stock is under-priced relative to its free cashflow yield.

“With advertising revenues up by 66% yoy and down by only 2% versus the same period in 2019, Mediaset achieved good conversion of this strong revenue performance to the bottom line,” said the analysts.

Mediaset’s earnings before interest and taxation were up strongly on the pre-pandemic 2019 comparable half-year, leading Berenberg to comment that “this reflects both the top-line recovery and the large cost savings achieved over the last two years due to efficiencies put through as a result of COVID-19 but also structural reductions that were envisaged even prior to the pandemic”.

“This is the strongest H1 in terms of profitability for many years,” the analysts concluded.

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