Astral Q1 profit rises on outdoor ad growth
TORONTO (Reuters) - Astral Media ACMa.To posted a 5 percent rise in quarterly profit on Thursday as solid growth in outdoor advertising offset sluggish radio revenue, while the company's television sector posted a slight gain in a tough advertising climate.
The Montreal-based company said net profit rose to C$55.8 million ($55.8 million), or C$1 a share, from C$53.1 million, or 92 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Total revenue rose 2 percent to C$271.1 million, while outdoor advertising revenue rose 13 percent.
The per share profit was in line with the average of analysts expectations, as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, while revenue was marginally lower.
Astral, which gets the vast majority of its sales from broadcasting, has pay- and specialty-television operations as well as radio stations and outdoor advertising.
Television revenues rose by 3 percent, with TV advertising sales up 1 percent. The number of pay-TV subscribers rose slightly after two quarters of losses.
Astral's stock, which is down about 18 percent from a peak in late 2010, was up 1 percent to C$35.11 early on Thursday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The company's chief financial officer, Claude Gagnon, resigned on Monday and was replaced by Robert Fortier.
(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Maneesha Tiwari in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Galloway)
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