January 14, 2009 / 3:09 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 1-Astral Media profit lifted by Standard Radio buy

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OTTAWA, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Canadian television and radio group Astral Media ACMa.TO reported a 13 percent increase in quarterly profit on Wednesday, helped by a big gain in sales and profit from last year’s acquisition of Standard Radio.

Astral said it earned C$42.4 million ($34.5 million), or 76 Canadian cents a share, in the three months ended Nov. 30. That compared with a profit of C$37.5 million, or 69 Canadian cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

Astral, which became Canada’s biggest radio broadcaster when it bought Standard Radio late last year for C$1.1 billion, said revenue rose 24 percent to C$244.5 million from C$197.7 million a year earlier.

Radio revenue jumped 87 percent, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the unit increased 81 percent. Television sales rose 3 percent and outdoor advertising revenue was up 6 percent.

“Given the current environment, we are obviously very pleased with the strength and the resilience of the company’s operating results,” Chief Executive Ian Greenberg said in a statement.

Operating expenses rose to C$165 million from C$132 million. ($1=$1.23 Canadian) (Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Peter Galloway)

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