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Mediaset: first-quarter profit, ad revenues drop

( - Italy's biggest private broadcaster, Mediaset, reported a 55% drop in first-quarter net profit to just 14.
6 million euros, affected by a slump in the advertising market, the company said on Wednesday.

The drop reflects the collapse in the advertising market that began in March, in both Italy and Spain, due to the Covid-19 crisis, the group said in a statement.

Italian advertising sales fell to 427.5 million euros, compared with 483.6 million euros in the first quarter of 2019. In Spain, TV advertising revenues dropped to 202.8 million euros, compared with 223.7 million euros last year, it said.

The impact on margins and cash generation has, however, been offset by prompt actions aimed at reducing costs, the broadcaster said.

"Obviously, the situation remains critical and does not permit much visibility in terms of future performance," it noted.

Mediaset shares were down 1.8% in late morning trading, not much behind the STOXX Europe 600 Media index, which itself was down 1.5%.

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