Broadcaster Mediaset España saw a modest increase in revenues and a significant drop in earnings and profit in the first quarter as costs mounted and the group’s share of a muted advertising market failed to grow in line with rivals.

The broadcaster’s net revenues rose by 2.2% to €188 million, while adjusted EBITDA fell by a third to €34.3 million. Net profit was down by 35.4% to €23.7 million.

Mediaset said that it achieved a better share of its target commercial audience than rival Atresmedia, despite having a smaller overall audience share.

The broadcaster said that its Mitele streaming offering reached an average of 253.4 million videos streamed per month in the quarter, 29% above the pre-pandemic quarter of January-March 2019.

Commenting on the results, analysts at Berenberg said that the results “came in below expectations”, with a disappointing performance in TV advertising being offset by an increase in other media including digital.

Contrasting Mediaset with Atresmedia, which saw 1.8% growth in TV advertising, Berenberge said that “he delta between the two reflects market share lost, in the case of Mediaset Espana, versus gained, in the case of Atresmedia”.

Berenberg noted that the Spanish ad market “remains subdued” despite Mediaset’s optimisim that “ this weakness represents deferral of campaigns, as opposed to cancellation”.

Berenberg, a fan of MediaForEurope’s plans for consolidation of its assets, said that the latter’s cash offer for Mediaset España shares “is not unappealing” and argued that “Mediaset Espana’s shareholders would do better to hold shares in a larger, better-resourced entity”.