Despite posting a disappointing 2% fall in Q1 sales revenue last week [WAMN: 19-Apr-01], German broadcasting group ProSiebenSat1 Media has confidently predicted that the full year will be a healthy one.

The group, which posted a 37% year-on-year drop in pre-tax profit to E28.6 million, claims that a reduced tax burden and the recent merger between ProSieben and Sat1 would help it achieve a 4% increase in sales and double-digit growth in pre-tax earnings over the course of 2001.

Chief financial officer Lothar Lanz revealed that he expects E50m in costs to be saved over the year thanks to the merger, as well as a reduction in the tax load from E56m last year to E42m.

Lanz added that adspend would pick up in the second half, driven by expenditure on public information campaigns in the run-up to the launch of euro notes and coins and a rise in retail demand after the axing of Germany’s discount law.

However, analysts were not so sure, questioning the group’s ability to reduce its reliance on ad income. Commented one such financial soothsayer: “It will be a key question how they actually manage to reduce the 97% dependency on revenue from television advertising.”

News Source: Handelsblatt (Germany)