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Univision Reports Lower First-Quarter Earnings

Univision, facing tough times in the Spanish-language media business, reported lower profits in the first quarter.

Net income dropped to $47.4 million from $58.1 million a year ago. The drop included $28.1 million in restructuring and severance charges as the company cut staff and its plans for a public stock offering fell through.

Revenue fell 1.2% to $684.2 million. Advertising revenue was down 6.5% to $369 million.

“Even with a leading portfolio of Spanish language linear assets, a growing digital portfolio and a strong and time-tested relationship with our audience, we recognize that accelerating changes at Univision now is as important as ever given the rapid evolution in the media sector,” said CEO Randy Falco, who has announced plans to retire at the end of the year. “We remain focused on one main strategic objective: Serving the entire U.S. Hispanic audience and enhancing our brand through our service to this community.”

The positive financial news was that the company was able to reduce its debt and cut interest expenses by 11.7% to $96.9 million.

At the company’s media networks group, operating income was down 8.6% to $262.2 million. Revenue fell 0.9% to $631.9 million.

Ad revenue at the media network was down 6.6% to $319 million. The company attributed the decline to softness in ad spending, including less spending in the retail and packaged goods sectors.