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A file photo of Astral Media Inc.'s president and CEO Ian Greenberg. (SHAUN BEST/Reuters)
A file photo of Astral Media Inc.'s president and CEO Ian Greenberg. (SHAUN BEST/Reuters)

Astral profit, revenue rise Add to ...

Astral Media Inc. says its third-quarter net income increased as advertising grew in both its television and billboard operations.

The company's profits rose slightly to $49.3-million or 87 cents per diluted share from $48.5-million or 85 cents per share a year ago. Revenue lifted to $268-million from $253.6-million.

Astral operates several media properties, including pay and specialty television, radio, advertising billboards and other out-of-home advertising, and digital media.

The company says its television advertising revenue grew 11 per cent in the quarter.

Its radio revenues increased 1 per cent, while revenues for its out-of-home advertising business grew 22 per cent.

During the quarter, Montreal's transit system awarded Astral a ten-year contract the company was awarded a 10 year contract to manage advertisements aboard trains, in train stations, at park-and-ride facilities as well as metropolitan terminals.

The results include $5-million in restructuring charges in the radio segment that the company recorded in the third quarter, but Astral said its plan to cut costs will lead to a savings of $8.5-million per year.

“I am also proud that recent efforts to optimize our radio cost structure are already yielding obvious benefits, enabling us to offset the copyright tariff increases enacted in fiscal 2010,” Ian Greenberg, president and CEO, said in a news release.

With its 21 television services, Astral is Canada's largest pay and specialty TV broadcaster. It is also the largest radio company with 83 radio stations in 50 Canadian markets, and the third-largest outdoor advertising company.

It has almost two million subscribers to its pay TV services, such as The Movie Network and French-language Super Ecran.

In April, Astral joined Corus Entertainment, Rogers Communications and other Canadian telecommunications companies in asking the country's telecom regulator to examine the operations of Internet-based services like Netflix.

(Editor's note: The revenue results include $5-million in restructuring charges in the radio segment that the company recorded in the third quarter. An earlier online version of this story included incorrect information. This version has been corrected.)

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