February 23, 2017 / 12:11 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Grupo Televisa reports 59 pct drop in 4th-qtr profit

(Adds details for decline in profit)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa on Wednesday reported a 59 percent fall in fourth-quarter net profit compared to the year-earlier period, hit by higher financial costs.

In the quarter ending Dec. 31, the company had a net profit of 643 million pesos ($31 million), it said in a statement, down from 1.571 billion pesos in the year earlier quarter.

Total sales at the company rose to 27.3 billion pesos.

A drop in total annual net profit in 2016 of 66 percent was partly due to non-recurring income in 2015, in addition to the higher financial costs, the company said.

The company has been restructuring its advertising business as viewers switch from free-to-air channels to watch content on other platforms such as pay TV and online.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) regulator is also reviewing the measures in place against Televisa in free-to-air broadcasting, and is expected to publish the results soon.

Reuters reported in January that a Mexican tribunal struck down a ruling which said that Televisa did not have market power in pay television. That means that the IFT must make its decision again, opening the door to tougher rules against the company.

$1 = 20.64 pesos on Dec. 30 Reporting by Natalie Schachar and Christine Murray; editing by Diane Craft

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