Spain's top media group Prisa, publisher of El Pais newspaper, saw its 2011 third-quarter net profits plunge 77.7 percent from a year earlier to 6.83 million euros ($9.49 million), it said Monday.
The company, which publishes the leading Spanish daily El Pais, said earnings fell due to exceptional items including the sale in 2010 of its television channel Cuatro to its rival Telecinco, owned by Italy's Mediaset.
"The comparison of third quarter earnings is affected by the fact that Cuatro ceased to be part of the consolidation in 2011 and by extraordinary items recorded under revenue and expenses in the same period both in 2011 and 2010," Prisa said in the statement.
Net profits for the first nine months of 2011 were down by 80.4 percent to 17.93 million euros.
The separate measure of operating revenues rose in the July to September quarter by 1.3 percent to 687.8 million euros, but was down by 2.4 percent to 2.038 million in the January to September period.
Prisa said in the statement that its pay-television operations performed strongly and revenues from educational publishing rose in Latin America, particularly in Brazil where they increased by 21 percent in the first nine months of 2001.
The company had slumped into the red in 2010 following a period of restructuring to refinance its debt of almost 5.0 billion euros.
In January this year, it announced 2,500 job losses worldwide, equal to 18 percent of its total staff spread across Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
© 2011 AFP
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