Radio takes a bite out of Astral

The media co's final quarter earnings are down due to a charge on licenses, but finishes the year up 5%.

Radio took a bite out of Astral Media’s earnings last quarter, which saw the Montreal media giant lose $273.6 million, down from a profit of $40 million for the same period last year.

The losses stem from a $317.5 million non-cash impairment charge on Astral’s radio licenses, with ‘no impact on the current or future operations’ of the company, according to a report tabled Tuesday.

Astral ended its fiscal year up 5% from 2008, hitting $905.7 million in consolidated revenues.

‘I am delighted by Astral’s effective response to the effects of the current economic downturn,’ CEO Ian Greenberg said in the report, going on to note the ‘operational discipline’ which reduced Astral’s debt by $120 million.

Revenue in Astral’s television wing was up 3% for the year, to $513.3 million. Subscriber revenue grew by 7% and 6% among its specialty and pay TV channels, respectively.

From Playback Daily