April 24, 2018 / 4:21 PM / a year ago

Italy's Mediaset returns to profit in 2017 after pay-TV blow

MILAN, April 24 (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest private broadcaster Mediaset said on Tuesday it returned to profit last year after a failed pay-TV deal with France’s Vivendi dragged the group into the red in 2016.

The Milan-based TV group, whose top shareholder is the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, said its 2017 net profit was 90.5 million euros from a loss of 294.5 million euros in 2016 on broadly flat total revenues.

The broadcaster said, however, that revenues for its pay-TV business, Premium, fell to 587.4 million euros in 2017, from 619.8 million euros the previous year when stripping out restructuring costs.

The group has been tangled in a bitter legal battle with Vivendi after the French company unexpectedly pulled out of a deal to buy Mediaset’s pay-TV unit in July 2016.

Reporting by Giulia Segreti

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