Mediaset’s results rise despite the pandemic. The television group led by CEO Pier Silvio Berlusconi and chaired by Fedele Confalonieri closed the half year with a significant growth in profit even compared to the first half of 2019 not yet affected by the Covid effects. In fact, profits amounted to € 226.7 million compared to the loss of € 18.9 million in the same period of the previous year, improving 2019 which had generated profits of € 102.7 million. The figure includes the capital gain of the 40% investee Ei Towers (through the sale of Towertel) and the dividends resulting from the investment in ProsiebenSat1. But even excluding these items, the net result for 2021 is higher than that of 2019. Revenues also stood at 1.387 billion compared to 1.166 billion in June 2020.
But, in addition to the accounts, Mediaset is interested in the future. Having resolved the conflict with Vivendi, the group is now looking at possible acquisitions and the merger with the Spanish subsidiary after the move of the registered office to the Netherlands. “We believe in consolidation, but we cannot be sure if we will be consolidators or consolidated: the market will say – said Marco Giordani, CFO of Mediaset – We will try to become as large as possible to guarantee shareholders the maximum value”. Giordani reiterated that the size of the new media groups will be important and crucial more for revenue opportunities than for synergies. In this context, there are several rumors: from a partnership with Discovery to Mediaset’s interest in Greece and some French television channels that will not fall within the scope of the aggregation between Tf1 and M6.
As for advertising, the target for revenue for the whole of 2021 is approximately + 1% compared to 2019. This was stated by Matteo Cardani, general manager of marketing at Publitalia. The control of operating costs should also be noted: the trend is slightly up on the first half of 2020, frozen by the first lockdown, but much lower than in the same period of 2019. The ratings are also excellent, demonstrating the central role of TV in public life.
Debt fell, which at 30 June stood at 731.7 million, down compared to the figure at the beginning of the period (1.064 billion). Excluding liabilities and investments made in ProsiebenSat.1, net financial debt is equal to 222 million compared to 473.6 million in 2020. During the period, investments of 103.9 million were made in connection with the increase in the stake in ProsiebenSat.1 and collected € 133.9 million from Ei Towers dividends, in addition to € 20.4 million resulting from the closure of financial instruments to hedge equity investments.