July 12, 2012 / 12:38 PM / 6 years ago

Astral Media profit rises 3 percent

(Reuters) - Canadian broadcaster Astral Media Inc ACMa.TO, which is being acquired by BCE Inc (BCE.TO), reported a 3 percent rise in third-quarter profit.

Net income rose to C$51.2 million, or 91 Canadian cents per share, from C$49.5 million, or 87 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Consolidated revenue fell 1 percent to C$265.5 million.

Media companies have been hit by weak advertising revenue as businesses tighten purse strings in a faltering global economy.

Astral’s main rival, Corus Entertainment Inc (CJRb.TO), reported a 7 percent rise in third-quarter profit earlier in the day, but said advertising revenue was hurt by soft demand for children’s programming.

Bell Canada’s parent BCE in March agreed to buy Astral Media, its largest content provider, in a C$3 billion deal to lock up more of the programming carried over its media platforms and expand its presence in French-speaking Quebec. The deal is awaiting regulatory clearances.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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