ROME: Mediaset, the Italian media company, is increasing its focus on several countries in North Africa, as it seeks to tap into some of the growing advertising markets in the region.

Speaking at the Economic and Financial Forum for the Mediterranean, Fedele Confalonieri, president of Italy's biggest commercial television broadcaster, argued nations like Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have "great growth possibilities."

The European firm holds a stake in the satellite television channel Nessma, which is one of a limited number of commercial stations currently available to viewers in these areas.

It is estimated that adspend levels in Morocco amount to around €100 million ($142m; £86m) each year at present, a figure that falls to €30m in Algeria and €20m in Tunisia.

However, each of these markets has recently posted annual growth rates in advertising expenditure of between 15% and 20%, with potential for further expansion in the future.

Equally, Confalonieri said Nessma already enjoys "advertising revenues which are higher than its budget", and has a target audience of 90 million consumers, some 65% of which are in the younger demographic that is attractive to many brands.

He added that Nessma, which is also available in Italy and France, holds a 12% audience share at present, a total it hopes to raise to 20%.

Data sourced from African Manager; additional content by WARC staff