SBS drags on Sat 1

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 cut its 2008 dividend and initiated a new cost-saving programme after its SBS arm and poor advertising markets propelled it to a net loss. The company said it was writing off E180 million against SBS for which it paid E3.3 billion in 2007. For 2008 the Group's consolidated revenues were E3.054 billion with adjusted EBITDA of E674.5 million.

ProSieben, majority-owned by private equity firms KKR and Permira, posted a net loss of E129.1 million for 2008 against a profit of E35.8 million for 2007. Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1, said key priorities for a “very difficult” 2009 would be to improve its costs structures and cut its net debt, which rose slightly to E3.4 billion.

Battered by the German stock market the company has dropped 90% of its value in a year for a market cap of just E139m and analysts are predicting a debt for equity swap.

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