WRAPUP 1-Results at Canada's Astral, Corus take divergent paths

Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:54am EDT
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* Corus profit plunges as television revenue slips

* Astral reports solid growth in TV, outdoor advertising

* Astral says BCE deal should close by June, end July latest

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, April 11 (Reuters) - Two of Canada's biggest independent media companies handed in very different earnings report cards on Thursday, with profits plunging at Corus Entertainment Inc while rival Astral Media Inc's earnings jumped 9 percent.

Astral, which is waiting for regulators to rule on a revised proposal to be acquired by BCE Inc, said growth at its main television operation and smaller outdoor advertising unit more than offset a slip in radio revenue.

By contrast, Corus revealed a debt refinancing that further undercut quarterly earnings already hurt by poor television unit performance, but should place the company on firmer financial footing.

The two companies compete to sell their television content to cable and satellite companies, and each own radio stations.   Continued...