ProSiebenSat.1 Increases Forth-Quarter Profit

Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit was up 17% because of increased advertising but the figure was still shy of what analysts had expected.

The Unterfoehring-based company, Germany's biggest commercial television broadcaster, earned 113.4 million euros ($149.06 million) in the fourth quarter compared with 96.9 million euros a year earlier. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected 122 million euros ($160.37 million).

Sales rose 3% to 657 million euros ($863.63 million) compared with 636 million euros, below analysts' expectations of euro670 million ($880.72 million).

ProSieben is being acquired by private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Permira.

KKR and Permira plan to merge ProSieben with its other broadcasting asset, Dutch-Scandinavian SBS, with the aim of overtaking industry leader RTL, which is controlled by media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG.

ProSieben owns the Sat.1, ProSieben, kabel eins and N24 networks in Germany and controls about 45% of Germany's 3.8 billion euros ($5 billion) television advertising market.

Looking forward, ProSieben said it expects its earnings and sales to rise between 2% and 3% this year because of an expected widening of the advertising market in Germany.