April 14, 2008 / 12:24 PM / 10 years ago

Astral Media profit boosted by Standard takeover

TORONTO (Reuters) - Specialty-TV and radio group Astral Media ACMa.TO reported on Monday its second-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by its acquisition of Standard Radio.

The company said it earned C$57.3 million, or 98 Canadian cents a share, for the period ended Feb 29, up from C$24.6 million, or 46 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

On a consolidated basis, earnings were C$29 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share, up from C$24.6 million, or 47 Canadian cents a share.

Revenue for the quarter was C$206.9 million, up from C$149.9 million. Of that total, the television division contributed C$118.7 million, while the radio division added C$75.1 million, largely helped by the Standard acquisition.

Revenue at Astral’s outdoor advertising division was C$13.1 million, up from C$9.2 million.

The takeover of privately held Standard Radio for C$1.1 billion made Montreal-based Astral Canada’s biggest radio broadcaster, operating 83 stations in eight provinces.

“An important aspect of this transaction resides in our capacity to grow in each of those new radio markets where we are present across Canada,” said Chief Executive Ian Greenberg in a conference call with analysts.

“We have a plan in place, we are following it, and I am pleased with the results so far.”

Greenberg also said that the company’s commitment to growth, either through organic means or through more acquisitions, “is stronger than ever.

Shares of Astral reversed in the afternoon, declining 7 Canadian cents, or 0.2 percent, to C$35.99 after earlier climbing as high as C$37.20.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Anderson and Leah Schnurr

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