October 27, 2009 / 4:14 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Astral Media posts loss on radio license charge

* Loss C$4.87 a share vs EPS C$0.68 a year earlier

* Books noncash charge of C$317.5 million

TORONTO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Specialty-TV and radio company Astral Media Inc ACMa.TO posted a quarterly loss on Tuesday as revenue slumped and it booked a noncash C$317.5 million impairment charge on its radio broadcast licenses.

Astral said it lost C$273.6 million ($258 million), or C$4.87 a share, in the three months ended Aug. 31. That was down from a profit of C$38.9 million, or 68 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to C$219.4 million from C$229.9 million a year earlier, the company said.

Montreal-based Astral became Canada’s biggest radio broadcaster in 2007 when it bought Standard Radio for C$1.1 billion.

It said that excluding the radio license writedown, earnings from continuing operations were 78 Canadian cents a share, up from 72 Canadian cents a share a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 68 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$221 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Astral shares were up 6 Canadian cents at C$32.24 on the Toronto Stock Exchange shortly after the results were released on Tuesday morning.

Astral is among the companies that could be interested in buying the specialty-TV assets of flagging Canwest Global Communications CGS.TO, Canada’s biggest media company.

Parts of Canwest filed for creditor protection earlier this month in a bid to restructure the company’s balance sheet, which is creaking under a debtload of roughly C$4 billion.

$1=$1.06 Canadian Reporting by Wojtek Dabrowski; editing by Peter Galloway

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