October 19, 2018 / 10:30 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Corus Entertainment profit beats on lower costs

(Adds shares, conf call comments)

By Laharee Chatterjee

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Corus Entertainment Inc's quarterly profit beat analyst estimates on Friday, as the Canadian media company kept a tight leash on expenses and declines in its struggling television business slowed.

Traditional media companies such as Corus have been boosting their offerings to attract new customers as they shy away from expensive TV bundles for cheaper online streaming services like Netflix Inc, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Netflix planned to invest more than $8 billion in entertainment programming this year to lure new customers around the world.

Corus will be ramping up its advertising technology and investments in acquiring content for its television business, Chief Executive Officer Doug Murphy said on a post-earnings call with analysts on Friday,

The Toronto-based company's shares, which fell more than 60 percent this year, were up 8.5 percent at C$4.92 in early trading.

Total costs related to acquisitions and restructuring fell 42 percent to C$7.7 million ($5.9 million) in the fourth quarter.

Corus's television business, which houses brands such as HistoryGo and Global News, fell marginally to C$344.6 million. The business reported a fall of 4.6 percent in the third quarter.

Advertising revenue for the television business fell 4 percent to C$219 million, Corus said.

The company faces stiff competition from tech giants such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google in its advertising business.

The company's net income rose 16.4 percent to C$33.7 million, or 16 Canadian cents, in the quarter ended Aug. 31.

Excluding items, Corus earned 19 Canadian cents per share.

Total revenue fell to C$379.1 million from C$381.2 million.

Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 15 Canadian cents per share on revenue of C$375.4 million, according to data from Refinitiv. ($1 =C$1.30) (Reporting by Laharee Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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