France’s largest private broadcaster, TF1, saw Q4 advertising sales down 1.2 per cent at €482.4 million. Operating profit fell 20.6 per cent to €84.7 million.
The company, which is home to France’s top-rated channel, said it believes the ad market will rebound as the French economy stabilises. However, it noted that despite being the number one network in the country, its future is unpredictable as more and more free-to-air channels flood the marketplace.
TF1 channel increased its overall audience share 0.1 per cent to a total of 22.9 per cent, and held 95 of the top 100 rated shows of the year.
TF1 has also stated it will return money to shareholders via a large dividend of €1.50 per share and a €60 million share buyback programme after selling sports channel Eurosport last year.
Discovery Communications bought a controlling interest in the Eurosport network, valuing the channel at about $1.2 billion. It reaches 133 million homes in more than 50 countries in 20 languages across Europe.
After the sale, TF1 will pay an ordinary dividend of €0.28 per share, and an exceptional part of €1.22 per share. The dividend for 2013 was €0.55 per share.