Astral revenue climbs

The mediaco bounces back from last year's losses with a leap in revenue.

Astral Media has released its 2010 Annual Report, indicating substantial earnings.

A 6% rise in revenues ($961 million in 2010 against $906 million in 2009) was reported, as well as a 5% increase in EBITDA to $309 million.

Net earnings were released at $185.1 million, against a net loss of $162.3 million last fiscal. Additionally, the company paid off $105 million of long-term debt during the fiscal year.

Astral scored a victory in October, as a suit against the CRTC over Part II license fees was finally adjudicated. The company estimates that the settlement to the dispute will bring savings, on an annual basis, of approximately $1.5 million, compared to the fees accrued under the previous regime. In the first quarter of fiscal 2010, following the settlement, Part II license fees accrued as of Aug. 31, 2009 amounting to $11.6 million were reversed.

As the numbers might suggest, it’s been a busy year at Astral, with the company extending its digital out-of-home advertising network with new installations in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, as well as new online extensions for The Movie Network, HBO Canada, Family, Playhouse Disney and Super Écran. In May, the company revamped its brand identity, and in July, it launched a French-language version of Playhouse Disney, among other moves.

From Playback Daily