Astral Media’s Largest Ever Q1

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Higher revenue in each of Astral Media‘s three business divisions as well as trimming costs helped the company achieve the single largest quarter in the Montreal-based company’s history.

AstralnewlogoAstral Media, which is supporting a $3.38-billion takeover proposal from BCE, said its first-quarter profit was $59.6 million or $1.05 per diluted share. Revenue rose to $274.5 million.

“Our relentless focus on delivering better value to advertisers and consumers combined with the discipline that defines Astral’s decision-making approach provide us with the optimal strategy to reach our objectives and continue to deliver balanced growth across our diversified asset portfolio,” said Ian Greenberg, Astral’s president and CEO.

Astral operates 25 specialty cable television channels, 84 radio stations and outdoor advertising businesses.

On a segmented basis, television accounted for $155.8 million of revenue, up from $153.6 million; radio generated $88.8 million, up from $88.3 million; and out-of-home advertising revenue from billboards and street furniture was $29.8 million, up from $29.3 million in the comparable period a year earlier.

The Bell/Astral deal is still subject to approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which is reviewing the revised proposal. An earlier proposal was turned down by the CRTC.

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