French commercial broadcaster TF1 has said that its performance this year will be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus crisis, with cancellations of advertising campaigns across key industry sectors and a halt to production activity.
The group said it was suspending its financial objectives announced in February until “the situation becomes clearer” and added that it was continuously analysing its cost base to look for further ways to save money.
While audience numbers have been increasing as a result of the Coronavirus, advertising clients – particularly in sectors that are under pressure such as tourism, cultural goods and transport – were delaying or cancelling a large number of ad campaigns, the French company said.
It added that it expects to take a “significant” hit in terms of advertising revenue this month – especially in April – while visibility about the impact in May and months to follow is unclear.
Digital & production hit
TF1 said that a similar negative impact was visible in its digital unit Unify but that e-commerce revenues were suffering less.
New programming has also been heavily affected, with most shows that are filmed on an ongoing basis – which account for 30% of production outfit Newen’s output – being particularly hard hit.
TF1 said it would be able to reduce costs to some extent to compensate the loss of revenue but added that it was too soon to assess the total impact of the crisis on the results of the group.
The broadcaster said that it was nevertheless confident it could weather the storm thanks to a good financial situation with little debt and continued availability of credit.