Italian broadcasting group Mediaset is back in the black, after reporting a net profit at group level of €90.5 million in 2017 on a turnover of €3.63 billion.
This compares to a net loss of €294.5 million a year earlier, due to the unsuccessful sale of pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium to Vivendi, and revenues of €3.66 billion.
Net profit improved both in Italy, going from a negative €380.1 million to a negative €9.9 million, and in Spain, up from €171.0 million to €197.5 million.
Net revenues in Italy amounted to €2.63 billion (€2.67 billion in 2016) and in Spain they reached €996.3 million (€992.0 million).
The positive performance was due mainly to the increase in advertising revenues and market share, despite a TV advertising market that continues to perform below expectations. The Group’s operating costs fell by 11.1 per cent, from €2.49 billion to €2.21 billion.
Mediaset’s TV channels improved their ratings compared with 2016, maintaining their leadership in both Italy and Spain.
In Italy, the broadcaster continued with the transformation of the pay-TV offer, making it less dependent on football and more focused on content provision with the opening up of the DTT platform to third parties. OTT VOD service Infinity ended 2017 with over 3.2 million registered users (+30 per cent year-on-year) and 30 million hours of content viewed (+13 per cent).
During 2017, the broadcaster acquired both the frequencies and the rights for the use of the Focus TV channel, which will launch in mid-May. Last month, FTA channel Canale 20 launched on DTT with excellent ratings.
After winning the exclusive Italian TV rights to the World Cup in Russia 2018, Mediaset Group will for the first time broadcast all the matches for free in both Italy and Spain this summer.