Kirch Gruppe-owned ProSiebenSAT.1, Germany’s leading TV broadcaster, posted Q3 results below expectations.

Hurt by tumbling ad revenues, the group reported a pre-tax loss for the quarter of E49.9m, dragging profits over the first nine months of 2001 down to E34.6 million, slightly over half the figure last year and well below the E55m expected by analysts. Sales of E1.42bn from January to September were 4.5% lower year-on-year and 1%–2% below projections.

“We made the best of a difficult situation in the German advertising market,” said chief executive Urs Rohner. “Thanks to severe cost management, only half of our sales drop has had an impact on profits.”

The group maintained its full-year targets, revised after September 11 [WAMN: 01-Oct-01], and its forecast of a 5%–6% fall in German advertising this year.

However, analysts suspect the financial goals may be difficult to reach in the current climate, as the bulk of pre-tax profits (almost 70% last year) is made in the fourth quarter. In addition, the poor results raised further concerns about ProSieben’s valuation before the planned merger with its own parent, KirchMedia, which has been performing strongly [WAMN: 06-Sep-01; 16-Oct-01].

News source: Financial Times