TF1 says 2013 sales to slip 3 pct as ad spending slows

PARIS Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:09pm EST

PARIS Feb 19 (Reuters) - France's biggest private broadcaster, TF1, said sales would slip by 3 percent this year as big advertisers cut spending amid a stagnant economy and promised stricter control on programming costs to cope.

TF1 on Tuesday posted flat revenue for 2012 of 2.62 billion euros ($3.5 billion), while operating profit fell by 25.6 percent 210.4 million. Net profit also fell 25.6 percent to 136 million.

Advertising revenue at TF1's main channels slipped by 2.5 percent on the year to 1.77 billion, with growth coming mainly from the group's newer digital channels and sports channel Eurosport.

The group, which competes with M6 and public broadcaster France Televisions, said it would propose a flat dividend of 0.55 euros per share.

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