PARIS, April 30 France's largest private
television broadcaster TF1 swung to a narrow operating
profit in the first quarter helped by cost cuts and delays to
certain programmes despite what it described as ongoing
uncertainty in the advertising market.
TF1, which competes with smaller rival M6 and
state-backed France Televisions, posted a 10.9 million euro
($15.1 million) operating profit, after a loss of 20.7 million
euros in the same period last year.
Sales fell 1.6 percent to 469.7 million euros, hurt largely
by lower sales of on-demand video.
Analysts had forecast an operating loss of 3 million euros
and sales of 503 million euros, according to Thomson Reuters
Lower costs were behind the profit outperformance, but Chief
Financial Officer Philippe Denery said they would not continue
at similar levels. "Reinvestment will be made for the rest of
the year," he said, adding that the savings were "tactical" from
pushing back new programmes and airing re-runs.
The group confirmed an earlier cost-cutting target of 25
million euros this year.
It said that although advertisers remained cautious on
spending, special events like the soccer World Cup this summer
were likely to boost sales.
($1 = 0.7212 Euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by
Leigh Thomas and Pravin Char)