Mexico's Televisa swings to net loss in third quarter

The logo of broadcaster Televisa is seen outside its headquarters in Mexico City

By Cassandra Garrison and Brendan O'Boyle

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico's largest broadcaster Televisa on Thursday posted a 4.9% dip in third-quarter revenues that swung its earnings into a net loss driven down by SKY, its satellite television unit.

Televisa, whose share price suffered last week as traders predicted more troubles for its cable and satellite units, reported a net loss of 918.5 million pesos ($52.7 million), compared to a profit of 1.12 billion pesos a year earlier.

Its revenues slipped to 18.32 billion pesos, falling short of an average forecast of 18.36 billion pesos, according to four analysts polled by LSEG. Operating profits were dragged down 8.8%.

SKY saw about 232,000 disconnections with a 13.8% dip in revenue. Televisa's cable segment saw 737,000 disconnections between broadband and video subscribers and a revenue drop of 2.0%.

"We implemented a staff reduction plan with savings of around 12% of our payroll starting in the fourth quarter of 2023," the firm said in its filing with the Mexican stock exchange.

J.P. Morgan called the company's results "very weak" for the quarter.

"Corporate expenses weighed on results, hurt by severance costs in cable," the bank said in an analyst note.

Televisa began posting hefty losses late last year but made a narrow comeback into profitability in the second quarter, though the steep slide still caused it to slash this year's spending forecasts to $620 million.

Televisa's participation in net profits from joint ventures increased 2.3% to 588.8 million pesos, driven by higher net income in the quarter from TelevisaUnivision, which launched the streaming service ViX+ aimed to compete with established rivals Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.

The company said in July it hoped to turn ViX+ profitable by the second half of 2024.

($1 = 17.4279 pesos at end-September)

(Reporting by Brendan O'Boyle and Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Chris Reese)