UPDATE 1-Mexico's Televisa says 1st-qtr profit slides 59 percent
(Adds details on financial results)
MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - Profit at Mexico's Grupo Televisa dropped by 59 percent in the first quarter, as the impact of a one-off payment a year earlier distorted results, the company said on Thursday.
The broadcaster and Spanish-language content provider said net profit in the January to March period was 600.4 million pesos ($34.7 million), down from 1.45 billion pesos in the same period last year.
The decline in profit was due in considerable part to the effect of the one-off cash payment last year of 1 billion pesos from U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, in which Televisa owns equity and convertible debt, the company said.
It also said financial expenses were 147.6 million pesos higher during the first quarter of 2016.
Televisa is restructuring its advertising business as more viewers switch from free broadcast channels to watch content on other platforms such as the Internet and pay TV.
Sales of advertising in Televisa's content division were down by 3.1 percent in the quarter.
Net sales at the group level rose 9.5 percent to 21.741 billion pesos, mostly due to its cable and satellite television businesses, the fastest-growing parts of the company.
In the first quarter, operating income from the cable division increased 18.6 percent.
Televisa narrowly avoided the imposition of tougher regulations for its pay TV arm in October, despite having a more than 70 percent share of satellite TV customers in Mexico and over 50 percent of the cable TV audience.
($1 = 17.29 pesos at end of March) (Reporting by Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein and Christine Murray; Additional reporting by Tomas Sarmiento)
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