Mexican top TV stations post 2nd quarter losses

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MEXICO CITY - Grupo Televisa and TV Azteca, Mexico's No. 1 and No. 2 TV networks, respectively, posted losses in the second quarter of this year in spite of growing sales.

Televisa, the country's leading entertainment conglomerate and the largest media company in the Spanishspeaking world, registered a net second quarter loss of $171.9 million compared to a net profit of $9.38 million in the same period a year earlier. The loss came in spite of sales reaching $505.4 million, a 14% rise on the same period the previous year.

A one-time payment made in relation to restructuring company debt cost Grupo Televisa $141.8 million, according to the company's filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, the country's second free-to-air broadcaster, TV Azteca, showed a net loss of $46 million in the quarter compared to a net profit in the second quarter 1999of $13 million. The poor net came in spite of strong increases in net sales, which were up 22% from the $118 million a year ago to $143 million in the second quarter 2000.

Resolution of the long-running dispute with NBC and a write-down of TV Azteca's investment in Spanish-language Web portal El Sitio, combined with foreign exchange losses put quarterly earnings in the red.

Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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