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Earnings: Strong Growth in CanWest Aussie TV Operations

CanWest Global released the financial results for its fiscal third quarter (Q3), revealing strong growth in its Australian television operations fueling a rise in its consolidated numbers.

Consolidated revenues for the quarter increased 7% to C$738m compared to C$687m for the same period last year. The television division contributed 49% to total revenues while publishing contributed 45%.

Consolidated EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was up 13% to C$122 million from C$107 million.

Consolidate net income was C$8 million or C$0.05 per share in the quarter compared to C$13m or C$0.07 per share.

The Canadian television segment saw revenue decline 3% from Q3 2006 to C$182 million on soft advertising sales. Expenses were also lower, by 7%, based in part on a reduction in program amortization expenses. The lower expenses helped push the segments EBITDA up by 27% to C$31 million.

The company’s Australian television operations, Network TEN, saw revenue rise 21% to C$180 million and EBITDA increase 34% to C$29 million. The company said these increases were the result of strong ratings performance in a stronger advertising market. A stronger Australian currency relative to the Canadian dollar was also noted.

Within the publishing segment, revenues rose 3% to C$333 million versus Q3 2006 and EBITDA was up 8% to C$71 million. The company cited revenue growth in inserts and retail advertising as well as cost containment initiatives as catalysts.