Advanced Television

Bank upbeat for MFE-MediaForEurope

March 3, 2022

MFE-MediaForEurope, the new holding business formed by Mediaset under the Dutch registered umbrella company, has received a positive note from equity analysts at Berenberg Bank.

MFE-MediaForEurope released a preliminary alert as to its expected financials (themselves due in full towards the end of April) and these, says the bank, appeared to be well ahead of expectations.

“What appears clear is that the beat (at both the top and bottom line) came from advertising,” says Berenberg.

“Full-year Italian revenues came in at €2.038 million, versus consensus of €2,000 million and our €1,987 million. Advertising was up by 2.2 per cent in Q4, implying full-year growth of 14.6 percent, slightly ahead of the 14.2 percent aggregated performance of all other players in the TV market. The same data source indicates that the overall advertising market in Italy was up by 13.1 percent (excluding search advertising). On a two-year stack, MediaForEurope’s advertising revenue was up by 2.2 per cent versus 2019, with Q4 up 4.7 per cent. This is despite weakness in the automotive segment, which was the only major category in negative territory in 2021,” says the bank.

MFE’s press release points to strong ratings for the group’s various channels, and a continuation of that performance in 2022. Thus, while the group achieved a 34 per cent all-day share with the target audience (15-64 year olds), in January this rose to 36.3 per cent.

“We note, moreover, that in prime time, where advertising revenue is concentrated, the group’s share in this target group was 37.4 per cent, versus 30.9 per cent for competitor Rai,” adds Berenberg.

“While we do not have full details of the results, and will not do so for nearly two months, it is clear that these are considerably better than expected, with the beat driven by revenues as opposed to better cost management. While the impact of the events in Ukraine is not yet clear, in terms of how this could affect advertising, the Italian group clearly starts 2022 from a position of strength,” states the bank’s note which maintains its ‘HOLD’ advice to clients.

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