CanWest profit up, helped by 30% online ad growth

CanWest’s Canadian web portal

Winnipeg-based media giant CanWest Global on Friday reported strong results for the second quarter and half year ending February 28, helped by the surge in online advertising and a turn-around at the company’s Canadian television operations.

The official announcement said:

Publishing revenues were flat as compared to the prior year, reflecting a soft print advertising market bolstered by growth in the Company’s online classified revenues (up 30% as compared to the prior year).

Canadian television revenue rose eight per cent to C$166 million. The company did not provide a figure for online revenue, but said its portal “achieved a 55 per cent increase in audience over the same period last year to over 5.2 million unique monthly visitors”.

Overall, second quarter revenues were up seven per cent to C$692 million and EBITDA up 10 per cent to C$90 million compared with the same quarter in the previous year.

The South Pacific continued to bolster CanWest’s bottom line:

New Zealand operations registered revenue and EBITDA growth. Combined revenue for radio and television operations increased by $3 million or 8% to $48 million for the second quarter as compared to the same period last year. Combined EBITDA increased by $1 million or 16% to $10 million for the quarter.

The Australian Ten Network television operations also performed well, with revenue up 14 per cent to C$138 million while EBITDA increased by 15% to C$37 million.