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Azteca announces $59 million loss for first quarter

Mexico's TV Azteca has announced a $59 million loss in the first quarter of this year. The broadcaster blamed the loss on changes in Mexican financial accounting rules and higher taxes. While net sales were 1 percent above the same period last year, costs and expenses rose by 8 percent. Resulting EBITDA was down 13 percent.

Trying to perhaps put a better light on results, CEO Mario San Roman said that when measured in comparable terms, and discounting the consolidation of Proyecto 40 into the operation, TV Azteca’s performance had a sales increase of 6 percent and EBITDA was up by 4 percent.

The group broadcaster announced the June launch of programming and facilities in Guatemala, which should enhance the company’s presence in that country. Under the agreement, TV Azteca acquires a 70 percent equity in Latitid TV and will transmit its content in Guatemala City over the air and throughout the country over cable.

In the United States, Azteca America signed with DIRECTV to have its programming carried on channel 441 of DIRECTV MAS. This will expand the network’s coverage in the U.S. Hispanic marketplace. TV Azteca is one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television and operates two national networks in Mexico. It also operates the Azteca American Network, which targets U.S. Hispanics, and Azteca Web, a North America Internet company.