Mediaset profits rocket with Canal+ sale and rebound in ad market

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 28 February 2015

Mediaset closed 2014 as the leading audiovisual group in Spain regarding both audience and profit margins, with results driven by the €325-million sale of Canal+'s stake to Telefónica and the recovery of the advertising market.

With a net profit close to €60 million -barely €4 million in 2013- and EBITDA over €160 million, and revenues over €930 million, Mediaset is clearly topping Spain's audiovisual market beyond Atresmedia, its nearest competitor, which earlier this week also declared growth and €46 million of net profit.

The recovering of the advertising market, which has been largely anticipated, seems to be affecting the largest groups' results, after the first positive year in the business since 2008. Indeed, Mediaset is eating almost half of the TV advertising pie, as it has a 44.2% market share regarding television ads.

Canal+'s 22% stake sale to Telefónica in summer 2014 has also contributed to increase the incomes and reduce the expenses, thus affecting the profits. César Alierta's telco paid €325 million to Mediaset for almost a quarter of the pay-TV company, plus up to €30 million depending upon subscription growth over the next four years.

Regarding audiences, Mediaset's channels had an average 30.7% audience during 2014, almost two more points than the year before. Telecinco is leading the networks' portfolio with an average 14.5% share, becoming Spain's most watched signal for third year in a row. On the other hand, Cuatro is losing its almost dedicated battle against Atresmedia's laSexta, with a 6.7% against 7.2% audience average.