April 14, 2010 / 5:27 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 2-Corus upbeat as 'ad recession' ends, revenue rises

* Adjusted EPS C$0.30 vs C$0.32

* Revenue up 6 pct at C$192.7 million

* Maintains “optimistic” 2010 forecast

* Shares up 0.45 pct to C$19.95 on Toronto exchange (Adds 2010 forecast, analyst comments, stock prices)

OTTAWA, April 14 (Reuters) - Corus Entertainment Inc (CJRb.TO) said on Wednesday the “advertising recession” that hit the broadcasting industry is behind it as it posted higher quarterly revenue but a lower profit.

The Canadian media company, which owns specialty-TV channels such as Movie Central, HBO Canada and Treehouse, also maintained its 2010 earnings forecast, which it said reflected an “optimistic outlook” when first announced last September.

Corus sees 2010 profit at C$255 million to C$270 million and free cash flow between C$10 million and C$20 million.

“We believe our results in the second quarter and the pacing we are enjoying in the third quarter indicate that the advertising recession is behind us,” said Chief Executive John Cassaday.

“Corus’s specialty and pay television categories and Ontario radio sales are performing very well, and we are also benefiting from strong cost control which has allowed us to improve our margins.”

The company reported net earnings that fell to C$14.6 million, or 18 Canadian cents a share, from C$29 million, or 36 Canadian cents a share, in the second quarter ended Feb. 28, as it took a C$14.3 million debt refinancing loss. In the same period last year it recorded a one-time gain of C$7.2 million.

Excluding those items, earnings per share fell to 30 Canadian cents from 32 Canadian cents.

Revenue rose 6 percent to C$192.7 million.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Casey said the results were “neutral” and mostly in line with expectations. Reported revenue and EBITDA modestly outpaced analyst estimates while adjusted EPS slightly lagged consensus, he said.

On average, analysts expected the company to earn 32 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$189 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Corus said its TV revenue rose 11 percent to C$137 million, while the profit increased 12 percent. Subscriber revenue was up 14 percent.

Radio revenue fell 4 percent to C$55.7 million in the quarter, but profit improved 21 percent. In late January, Corus closed two unprofitable radio stations in Montreal.

Corus shares rose 9 Canadian cents to C$19.95 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and added 18 cents to $19.97 on Nasdaq on Wednesday.

$1=$1 Canadian Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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