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TV Azteca Announces 26% EBITDA Growth to Ps.761 Million in 1Q10
Apr 29, 2010 (06:04 PM EDT)


- EBITDA margin grows four percentage points to 34% in the quarter -

- Sales grow 11% to a record high of Ps.2,221 million -

- Commercial audience share grows two percentage points to 41% in 1Q10 -

MEXICO CITY, April 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (BMV: TVAZTCA; Latibex: XTZA), one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, announced today financial results for the first quarter of 2010.

"This period's revenue represented a record high for a first quarter, part of a significant demand for our advertising space and a growing audience level," said Mario San Roman, Chief Executive Officer of TV Azteca. "The strength of sales, along with solid strategies that increase operational efficiency and effectively control costs and expenses, translated once again into outstanding EBITDA expansion and superior growth of TV Azteca's profitability."

First Quarter Results

Net sales were Ps.2,221 million, 11% above the Ps.1,995 million of the same quarter of 2009. Total costs and expenses were Ps.1,460 million, compared to Ps.1,389 million in the same period of the previous year.

As a result, TV Azteca reported EBITDA of Ps.761 million, 26% above the Ps.606 million in the first quarter of 2009. The EBITDA margin was 34%, four percentage points above the 30% margin of a year ago. The company registered net majority income of Ps.132 million, compared to a loss of Ps.213 million in the prior year's quarter.


                         1Q 2009     1Q 2010       Change
                                                 Ps.      %

    Net Sales            Ps.1,995   Ps.2,221    Ps.226   11%

    EBITDA                 Ps.606     Ps.761    Ps.156   26%

    Net Majority Result   Ps.(213)    Ps.132    Ps.345  ----

    Net Result per CPO   Ps.(0.07)   Ps.0.04   Ps.0.11  ----

    Figures in millions of pesos.
    EBITDA: Operating Profit Before Depreciation and Amortization.

The number of CPOs outstanding as of March 31, 2009 was 2,907 million and as of March 31, 2010 was 3,009 million.

Net Sales

"Our content's popularity was notable in the quarter, which translated into a two percentage-point growth in commercial audience share to 41% in the full day," added Mr. San Roman. "The successful programming represented a superior platform for numerous advertising campaigns in all time slots, which was an important growth engine for sales in the period."

First quarter revenue includes sales at Azteca America -- the company's wholly owned broadcast television network focused on the U.S. Hispanic market -- of Ps.196 million, 7% higher compared to Ps.184 million a year ago.

Revenue from barter sales was Ps.67 million in the period, from Ps.93 million the previous year.

Costs and Expenses

Total costs and expenses grew 5% in the quarter, as a result of a 5% increase in programming, production and transmission costs -- to Ps.1,191 million, from Ps.1,134 million in the same period a year ago -- and an increase in selling and administrative expenses -- to Ps.269 million, from Ps.255 million in the same quarter of 2009.

Slower growth in costs relative to income mainly derives from strategies to further strengthen the efficiency of content production and strict budget control. The increased efficiency is particularly meaningful given the solid increases in audience levels for the period.

The selling and administrative expense results are due to higher operating, personnel and travel expenses, as well as fee payments, which are partially compensated by a reduction in service expenses.

EBITDA and Net Income

EBITDA was Ps.761 million, 26% above the Ps.606 million in the same period of the prior year.

The main changes below EBITDA were i) a Ps.146 million reduction of other expenses, and ii) a Ps.63 million improvement in integrated financing, mainly derived from lower interest payments.

Net majority income for the period was Ps.132 million, compared to a net loss of Ps.213 million a year ago.

Debt

As of March 31, 2010, TV Azteca's outstanding debt -- excluding Ps.1,493 million debt due 2069 -- was Ps.7,607 million, compared to Ps.7,143 million a year ago.

The debt is peso denominated -- congruent with most of the company income -- and Ps.6,000 million is comprised of long-term Securities Certificates with a fixed annual interest rate of 9.29%, thanks to interest coverage for the next three years.

The cash balance of the company was Ps.4,289 million, 38% higher than Ps.3,119 million a year ago.

Net debt was Ps.3,318 million, 18% below the Ps.4,024 million from the previous year. Debt to last twelve months (LTM) EBITDA ratio was 1.8 times, and net debt to LTM EBITDA was 0.8 times.

Company Profile

TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world, operating two national television networks in Mexico, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through more than 300 owned and operated stations across the country. TV Azteca affiliates include Azteca America Network, a new broadcast television network focused on the rapidly growing U.S. Hispanic market, and Azteca Web, an Internet company for North American Spanish speakers.

    TV Azteca is a Grupo Salinas company (http://www.gruposalinas.com), a
group of dynamic, fast-growing, and technologically advanced companies focused
on creating shareholder value, contributing to build the middle class of the
countries in which they operate, and improving society through excellence.
Created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas
(http://www.ricardosalinas.com), Grupo Salinas operates a as a management
development and decision forum for the top leaders of member companies. The
companies include: TV Azteca (www.irtvazteca.com), Azteca America
(http://www.aztecaamerica.com), Grupo Elektra
(http://www.grupoelektra.com.mx), Banco Azteca
(http://www.bancoazteca.com.mx), Afore Azteca (http://www.aforeazteca.com.mx),
Seguros Azteca (http://www.segurosazteca.com.mx) and Grupo Iusacell
(http://www.iusacell.com).  Each of the Grupo Salinas companies operates
independently, with its own management, board of directors and shareholders.
Grupo Salinas has no equity holdings.  However, member companies share a
common vision, values and strategies for achieving rapid growth, superior
results and world-class performance.

Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Other risks that may affect TV Azteca and its subsidiaries are identified in documents sent to securities authorities.

    Investor Relations:
    Bruno Rangel
    + 52 (55) 1720 9167
    jrangelk@tvazteca.com.mx

    Fernanda Gonzalez-Rul
    + 52 (55) 1720 0041
    fgrul@tvazteca.com.mx

    Press Relations:
    Tristan Canales
    + 52 (55) 1720 1441
    tcanales@gruposalinas.com.mx

    Daniel McCosh
    + 52 (55) 1720 0059
    dmccosh@tvazteca.com.mx

SOURCE TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V.