MFE bullish on 2022 prospects, set to abstain in ProSiebenSat.1 vote

MediaForEurope – the company formerly known as Mediaset – has said advertising revenues for the first quarter were slightly up on last year’s figure despite the impact of the war in Ukraine.

MFE said it believed it outperformed the market in Q1 and noted that it had seen any postponements, cancellations or shifts in advertising campaigns.

Currently the group continues to expect positive results and free cash-flow generation for the full year

The update comes as MFE’s board approved full-year results for 2021. The group posted revenues of €2.9 billion, up 10.5%, and an operating profit of €475.6 million, up 52.4%.

Earlier, analysts at Berenberg had cut estimates for MFE to reflect “moderated expectations” for Italian ad revenue as well as reduced expectations for Mediaset España and Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1.

Berenberg said that the proposed combination of Mediaset Italia and Mediaset España as a single entity would give MFE “more chance of actually achieving fair value” than trading as two separate entitities

MFE last week meanwhile said it would not propose alternative candidates for the supervisory board of ProsiebenSat.1 to be elected at the shareholders’ meeting on May 5.

Earlier this month, MFE, which is ProSiebenSat.1’s largest shareholder, said it was seeking a change in the voting rules at the German company’s forthcoming AGM that would enable the individual discharge of executive and supervisory board members in place of collective approval or rejection.

However, MFE has now said it “believes a potential public controversy on the composition of the Supervisory Board is not in the best interest of ProsiebenSat.1 and its stakeholders” but noted it would have preferred “a transparent process in which the views of material shareholders on potential candidate profiles and diversity are heard”.

MFE said it would support the proposed election of Andreas Wiele as member and future Chairman as “a first tangible signal of a change in the company’s governance”.

Nevertheless, MFE strongly criticised what it called “a succession process which does not reflect the minimum standards of transparency and corporate governance practice used by all of Europe’s leading listed companies” and said it would abstain from the vote.

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