Profits at Berlusconi-backed MFEs plummet as advertising slows and costs rise

MILAN, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Italy’s leading commercial broadcaster MediaForEurope (MFE) (MFEB.MI) said on Wednesday its operating profit fell 65% in the first nine months, hit by lower advertising sales in its domestic market and rising costs.

Formerly known as Mediaset and controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, MFE posted a group operating profit of 97.6 million euros ($101.3 million), compared to 275 million euros in January-September 2021.

That was slightly ahead of an analyst consensus provided by the company of 95.5 million.

MFE said advertising sales in its core domestic market fell 2.5% to 1.31 billion euros in the first nine months as the macroeconomic environment worsened amid the energy crisis in Europe. after the post-pandemic rebound.

Costs in Italy rose 5.7% to €1.32 billion in the January-September period.

However, the company said it was confident of delivering “positive” annual results and highlighted a “resilient performance” of its domestic advertising business so far in the final quarter of the year. ($1 = 0.9635 euros)

Reporting by Elvira Pollina, editing by Valentina Za

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