Oct 28 (Reuters) - French television group TF1 on Wednesday reported a 7.5% rise in third-quarter advertising revenues, with advertising spend recovering across most sectors as lockdown restrictions were lifted over the summer.
The Paris-based company, which owns France’s most popular channel, scrapped its 2020 and 2021 guidance earlier in the year due to coronavirus-linked uncertainties facing French companies and households.
The group’s key concerns are advertisers’ positions and its ability to keep producing programmes as the health crisis evolves, finance chief Philippe Denery said in a call with reporters.
Denery said there were few negative signs in October but pointed to very poor visibility for the months ahead as French authorities consider further restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
France has recorded more than 50,000 new COVID-19 cases a day and President Macron is expected to announce further restrictions later on Wednesday following the introduction of curfew measures across much of the country last week.
As the first lockdowns ended over summer, TF1 said TV consumption increased among young people and adults alike with the return of sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League final, which attracted some 11.4 million viewers.
The group said advertisers benefited from high viewing figures in late summer and the back-to-school period, again for the Champions League and reality island gameshow Koh-Lanta, which had some 6.7 million viewers at its peak.
TF1, which generates 69% of its revenue from advertising, said spending in a few sectors - such as travel, tourism and cosmetics - continued to decline.
The group said it was lining up the return of some flagship shows for the end of the year, first-run movies and launching a new daily soap and gameshow, District Z.
It posted advertising revenues of 346.5 million euros ($409.5 million), a day after French broadcaster M6 posted a 2.6% improvement. ($1 = 0.8461 euros)
Reporting by Sarah Morland and Anait Miridzhanian in Gdansk; Editing by Jan Harvey, Kirsten Donovan
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