Germany's largest free-to-air commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat1 has unveiled record net profits for 2004.

Aggressive cost cutting and lower programming costs have resulted in a three-fold rise in net revenues to €133.6 million ($174m, £92.5m). Sales were up slightly to €1.83 billion.

However, the company is not optimistic about an early upturn in the depressed German advertising market and says it will diversify its revenue-earning streams into teleshopping, cellphone ringtones and merchandising. German broadcasters have seen ad sales drop by about one-fifth since 2000.

Warns ceo Guillaume de Posch: "So far, ProSiebenSat1 has seen no indications that domestic demand will improve substantially. As long as domestic demand remains weak, we remain cautious for the TV advertising market in Germany."

The company owns four commercial TV stations, all of which, it says, contributed to revenue earnings.

Adds De Posch: "The growth of market share and stability of costs should allow us to further increase our revenues and to improve our earnings."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff