April 27, 2017 / 12:04 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Televisa sees 1st-qtr profit surge on forex gains

(Adds details on results, background, share price)

MEXICO CITY, April 26 (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Grupo Televisa’s first-quarter profit jumped on Wednesday, rising 125 percent compared with the same quarter last year, largely thanks to currency fluctuations.

Televisa, a media giant known for its “telenovela” soap operas, reported a first-quarter profit of 1.35 billion pesos ($72.1 million), up from 600.43 million pesos in the first quarter of 2016.

In the January-March period, the company’s sales rose 2 percent to 22.18 billion pesos.

The peso had been weakening against the dollar in 2016, and reached a series of historic lows after the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, who threatened to rewrite trade regulations between the two countries.

Since the start of the year, as Trump’s trade rhetoric has appeared to soften, the peso has outperformed peers.

Televisa said its financing expenses decreased, mainly due to a favorable change in foreign exchange income fueled by the peso’s appreciation against the dollar.

Televisa, the world’s largest maker of Spanish-language content, has been subject to tougher regulations since 2014 as part of a sweeping sector reform aimed at making the market more competitive.

Televisa has chafed against the new measures, which it argues come as the sector already faces greater competition, both from new technologies and competitors.

Shares in the company closed down 0.62 percent at 97.56 pesos before earnings were reported.

$1 = 18.7275 Mexican pesos end-March Reporting by Mexico City newsroom; editing by Sandra Maler, G Crosse

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