Mediaset Q1 hit by ad slump

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Mediaset has released an interim report for the first quarter of 2020. The Group’s performance in the first quarter reflects the sharp slowdown in the advertising market that began in March in both Italy and Spain following the effective block of most business activity in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mediaset says, however, that the impact on margins and cash generation hasbeen held back by prompt actions aimed at reducing costs – although the Group notes the situation remains critical and does not permit much visibility in terms of future performance.

The key results in the first three months of 2020 can be summarised as follows:

Net revenues amounted to €682.1 million, compared with €718.2 million in the first quarter of 2019. In particular, revenues in Italy came to €452.4 million compared with €492.1 million in the same period last year.

In Spain, revenues amounted to €229.8 million compared with €226.1 million in 2019. Revenues in both countries have been affected by a marked slump in the advertising market that began in March.

In Italy, gross television advertising revenues were up by 2.1 per cent up to the end of February, compared with 2019, while with March the first quarter ended with sales of €427.5 million, compared with the €483.6 million of the first three months of 2019. In Spain, gross television advertising revenues amounted to €202.8 million, compared with €223.7 million the previous year, a fall that was nevertheless lower than the market and which means that Mediaset España has reinforced its national leadership in advertising sales.

Total consolidated operating costs (labour costs, procurement costs, services and other charges, amortisations and depreciations of rights and other assets) came to €640.6 million, essentially in line with the €639.7 million of the first quarter of 2019.

In Italy, in particular, costs fell to €472.7 million, compared with €480.3 in 2019 mainly due to the management and review of the schedules launched in March to face the impact of the Covid-19 emergency. In Spain, total operating costs came to €168 million, compared with €159.5 million in the same period of the previous year.

TV Ratings

In Italy, Mediaset is the ckear leader in the commercial target of 15 to 64-year-olds in all the main time bands, with a peak share of 35.8 per cent in prime time. Of note is the first place of Canale 5, and the third place of Italia 1 in all time bands.

In Spain, the Group’s channels maintained their lead in the 24-hours with a 28.1 per cent share. Telecinco remained Spain’s most popular channel across the whole day (14.2 per cent).

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