TV Azteca Reports EBITDA Of US$ 40 Million For The First Quarter Of 2001

- Increase in EBITDA Margin to 34% -

- Results Reflect Ability to Adjust Costs and Expenses to

Changing Market Conditions -

- 10% Increase in Commercial Audience Share -



Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.

    MEXICO CITY, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:   TZA;
 BMV: TVAZTCA), the second largest producer of Spanish language programming in
 the world, today announced EBITDA of US$ 40 million in the first quarter,
 compared with US$ 42 million recorded in the same period in 2000. The EBITDA
 margin was 34 percent, higher than the 33 percent margin reported in the first
 quarter of the previous year.
     "Our cost control systems react quickly to changes in market conditions,
 and this permits us to preserve our profitability," said Ricardo B. Salinas,
 Chairman and CEO of TV Azteca.  "In the first weeks of the year, we saw a
 considerable reduction in the demand for television advertising in Mexico. In
 light of this change, we immediately acted to reduce our total costs and
 expenses significantly."
     "Our ability to rapidly implement cost reductions reflects a very
 competitive programming grid across the various time slots of the day.  This
 enabled us to grow our full day commercial audience share substantially,"
 added Mr. Salinas.
 
     First Quarter Results
     Millions of pesos(1) and dollars(2) except for percentages and per share
 amounts.
                            1Q 2000       1Q 2001                 Change
                                                           US$             %
     Net Revenue
       Pesos              Ps. 1,192     Ps. 1,110
       US$                  US$ 126       US$ 117          (9)           -7%
     EBITDA
       Pesos                Ps. 396       Ps. 382
       US$                   US$ 42        US$ 40          (2)           -4%
     Net Income
       Pesos                Ps. 138       Ps. 109
       US$                   US$ 15        US$ 11          (4)          -21%
     Net Income per ADS(3)
       Pesos               Ps. 0.73      Ps. 0.58
       US                 $US$ 0.08      US$ 0.06       (0.02)          -21%
 
     (1)  Pesos of constant purchasing power as of  March 31, 2001.
     (2)  Conversion based on the exchange rate of Ps. 9.47 per US dollar as of
 March 31, 2001.
     (3)  Calculated based on 188 million ADS equivalents outstanding as of
 March 31, 2001.
 
     10% Increase in Audience Levels
     During the quarter, TV Azteca's full day commercial audience share was
 33.4 percent, 10 percent higher than the 30.4 percent level recorded during
 the same quarter last year.
     "Our strategy to strengthen our non-prime time and weekend programming has
 enabled us to distribute our audience share more evenly throughout the day and
 achieve greater full day loyalty among our viewers," said Mario San Roman,
 Director of Distribution Channels for TV Azteca.  "This has been a key factor
 in our success in attracting diverse segments of the commercial audience
 throughout the day, which is an attraction for our advertisers."
     TV Azteca's weekend programs, including Gente con Chispa, El Ojo del
 Huracan, and Tombola, demonstrated their popularity by reaching an average 22
 percent audience share during the quarter.  At the same time, pre-prime time
 programs, which include shows such as A Ganar Con Omar, Hechos Meridiano,
 Cosas de la Vida, Metropolis, and Ventaneando, had on average more than 27
 percent of the commercial audience.
     "These results show that we were able to make the most of available air
 time and reaching the target market of a wide variety of advertisers," said
 Gustavo Guzman, the Head of Brand Management for TV Azteca.  "Over the past
 year we have significantly increased the proportion of revenue generated
 outside of prime time as a result of this strategy."
 
     Net Revenue
     During the quarter, net revenue declined 7 percent compared to the same
 period of 2000.  This reflected the lack of political advertising, which
 contributed US$ 8.6 million to revenue in last year's quarter and relatively
 low demand for advertising during the first weeks of the year.
     On a pro forma basis, excluding political advertising, net revenue was
 constant in comparison with the same period of 2000.
     "Last year's political ad spending made for a difficult year-on-year
 comparison," commented Luis J. Echarte, the CFO of TV Azteca.  "Fortunately,
 this effect was partially offset by our higher audience levels and the
 increases in advertising prices.  We expect that continued growth in consumer
 spending will continue to offset this statistical effect in the coming
 months."
     Revenue during the first quarter reflected an average 17 percent real
 increase in advertising rates and a reduction of 25 percent in the full day
 use of available time compared to the same period last year.
     TV Azteca's revenues include US$ 4.7 million in sales of content and
 advertising to Todito.com, US$ 0.7 million in advertising sales to Unefon, and
 a US$ 4.2 million cash payment from Azteca America, as compensation for the
 opportunity cost of not selling programming into the United States.
     Non-cash revenue fell during the quarter.  Barter sales were
 US$ 2.1 million, compared to US$ 3.7 million in the first quarter of 2000.
 Inflation adjustment of advertising advances contributed only US$ 2.7 million
 to revenue, compared to US$ 5.2 million in the same period of last year.
 
     Large Reduction in Production Costs
     Total costs and expenses were US$ 77 million in the first quarter, an
 8 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2000.  This included a
 12 percent reduction in production, programming, and transmission (PPT) costs
 and a 2 percent increase in administration and selling expense.
     "Given the weaker demand for advertising, we decreased internally-produced
 hours, designed programming grids with lower costs, and improved the
 efficiency of our production during the quarter," said Jose Ignacio Morales,
 TV Azteca's Chief Operating Officer. "We have also established an austere
 budget for the full year; accordingly, we expect to maintain these strict cost
 controls during the coming months."
     Total PPT costs for the quarter were US$ 55 million, a 12 percent decrease
 from the US$ 63 million recorded in the first quarter of the prior year and a
 20 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2000.
     TV Azteca produced 2,043 hours of programming during the quarter, an
 18 percent decrease from the 2,501 hours in the first quarter of 2000.  The
 largest reductions were in entertainment programs, which can be readily
 substituted by alternative programming.
     Administration and selling expense was US$ 22 million, a 2 percent
 increase over the US$ 21 million recorded in the first quarter of 2000.  The
 increase was largely the result of annual salary increases.  Compared to the
 fourth quarter of 2000, administration and selling expense decreased
 10 percent.
     As part of the effort to control costs and expenses, TV Azteca reduced its
 workforce by 4 percent to 4,401 employees during the quarter, from 4,573.
 Currently, 64 percent of employees are permanent, and 36 percent are free-
 lancers.
 
     US$ 40 Million in EBITDA in the Quarter
     As a result of the 7 percent decrease in net revenue and the
 8 percent decrease in costs and expenses, EBITDA in the quarter was
 US$ 40 million, slightly lower than the US$ 42 million recorded in the first
 quarter of 2000.  The EBITDA margin was 34 percent, one percentage point
 higher than the 33 percent recorded in the first quarter of 1999.
     "Our weekly monitoring of sales, costs, and margins, as well as the true
 flexibility we have to make changes in program production, give us important
 tools to react swiftly to market changes and maintain our profitability,"
 added Mr. Morales.
 
     Net Income
     Net income during the first quarter was US$ 11 million, compared to US$ 15
 million registered in the first quarter of last year.
     During the quarter, TV Azteca recorded other expenses of US$ 2.2 million
 for its 50 percent share in the net loss of Todito.com.
     The Company also recorded other financial income of US$ 0.5 million, as a
 result of the mark-to-market valuation of its 2.5 percent shareholding in El
 Sitio.
 
     Unefon Spin-off to Shareholders
     As previously announced, TV Azteca is in the process of spinning off its
 investment in Unefon to its shareholders in order to focus on its core media
 business.
     During the quarter, TV Azteca obtained consent from its noteholders to
 complete the spin-off.  With the consents, TV Azteca shareholders have the
 right to acquire a proportional interest in Unefon.  These rights will be
 exercisable in December 2002 at an aggregate exercise price of approximately
 US$ 177 million.  The exercise date will be accelerated in the event of a
 strategic sale or tender offer for Unefon or if the Board of Directors
 otherwise determines to do so.
     Unefon, the Mexican cellular operator focused on the mass market
 (BMV: UNEFON), currently offers service in 13 of Mexico's most important
 cities, with a covered population of 34 million persons. It has more than
 355,000 subscribers, more than two times the 156,000 at the end of the fourth
 quarter of 2000.
 
     Solid Performance by Todito.com
     Todito.com, a leading Internet portal for Spanish speakers in North
 America, which is 50 percent owned by TV Azteca, continues its growth in the
 Mexican Internet market.  It had approximately 167 million page views during
 the quarter, more than twice the 82 million hits in the first quarter of 2000.
 The number of registered users grew to 510,000, almost three times the 181,000
 in the first quarter of the prior year.
     During the quarter, Todito recorded revenue of US$ 1.9 million, four times
 the US$ 0.5 million of the same quarter last year.  Cash operating costs were
 US$ 1.2 million, 31 percent higher than in the same period of 2000, as a
 result of expenses for upgrading software.  Todito generated positive
 operating cash flow of US$ 0.5 million during the quarter.
 
     Standard & Poor's and Moody's Improve TV Azteca's Ratings Outlook
     During April, Standard & Poor's and Moody's both improved their ratings
 outlook for TV Azteca and Azteca Holdings.  Standard & Poor's changed its
 rating outlook to stable from negative, primarily reflecting the lowered risk
 associated with Unefon.
     Moody's changed its rating outlook to positive from stable, primarily
 reflecting TV Azteca's increased market share and financial strength.
 
     Company Profile
     TV Azteca is the second largest producer of Spanish programming in the
 world, and one of two broadcast television companies in Mexico, operating two
 national television networks, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through more than 250
 owned-and-operated stations located throughout Mexico.  TV Azteca also
 operates a national broadcast television network in El Salvador.  TV Azteca
 affiliates include Unefon, one of Mexico's leading cellular companies,
 Todito.com, an Internet portal for North American Spanish speakers, and Azteca
 America, a new broadcast television network focused on the rapidly growing US
 Hispanic market.
 
     Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press
 release are forward-looking statements and are subject to certain risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 projected.  Risks that may affect TV Azteca are identified in its Form 20-F
 and other filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 

SOURCE TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.
    MEXICO CITY, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE:   TZA;
 BMV: TVAZTCA), the second largest producer of Spanish language programming in
 the world, today announced EBITDA of US$ 40 million in the first quarter,
 compared with US$ 42 million recorded in the same period in 2000. The EBITDA
 margin was 34 percent, higher than the 33 percent margin reported in the first
 quarter of the previous year.
     "Our cost control systems react quickly to changes in market conditions,
 and this permits us to preserve our profitability," said Ricardo B. Salinas,
 Chairman and CEO of TV Azteca.  "In the first weeks of the year, we saw a
 considerable reduction in the demand for television advertising in Mexico. In
 light of this change, we immediately acted to reduce our total costs and
 expenses significantly."
     "Our ability to rapidly implement cost reductions reflects a very
 competitive programming grid across the various time slots of the day.  This
 enabled us to grow our full day commercial audience share substantially,"
 added Mr. Salinas.
 
     First Quarter Results
     Millions of pesos(1) and dollars(2) except for percentages and per share
 amounts.
                            1Q 2000       1Q 2001                 Change
                                                           US$             %
     Net Revenue
       Pesos              Ps. 1,192     Ps. 1,110
       US$                  US$ 126       US$ 117          (9)           -7%
     EBITDA
       Pesos                Ps. 396       Ps. 382
       US$                   US$ 42        US$ 40          (2)           -4%
     Net Income
       Pesos                Ps. 138       Ps. 109
       US$                   US$ 15        US$ 11          (4)          -21%
     Net Income per ADS(3)
       Pesos               Ps. 0.73      Ps. 0.58
       US                 $US$ 0.08      US$ 0.06       (0.02)          -21%
 
     (1)  Pesos of constant purchasing power as of  March 31, 2001.
     (2)  Conversion based on the exchange rate of Ps. 9.47 per US dollar as of
 March 31, 2001.
     (3)  Calculated based on 188 million ADS equivalents outstanding as of
 March 31, 2001.
 
     10% Increase in Audience Levels
     During the quarter, TV Azteca's full day commercial audience share was
 33.4 percent, 10 percent higher than the 30.4 percent level recorded during
 the same quarter last year.
     "Our strategy to strengthen our non-prime time and weekend programming has
 enabled us to distribute our audience share more evenly throughout the day and
 achieve greater full day loyalty among our viewers," said Mario San Roman,
 Director of Distribution Channels for TV Azteca.  "This has been a key factor
 in our success in attracting diverse segments of the commercial audience
 throughout the day, which is an attraction for our advertisers."
     TV Azteca's weekend programs, including Gente con Chispa, El Ojo del
 Huracan, and Tombola, demonstrated their popularity by reaching an average 22
 percent audience share during the quarter.  At the same time, pre-prime time
 programs, which include shows such as A Ganar Con Omar, Hechos Meridiano,
 Cosas de la Vida, Metropolis, and Ventaneando, had on average more than 27
 percent of the commercial audience.
     "These results show that we were able to make the most of available air
 time and reaching the target market of a wide variety of advertisers," said
 Gustavo Guzman, the Head of Brand Management for TV Azteca.  "Over the past
 year we have significantly increased the proportion of revenue generated
 outside of prime time as a result of this strategy."
 
     Net Revenue
     During the quarter, net revenue declined 7 percent compared to the same
 period of 2000.  This reflected the lack of political advertising, which
 contributed US$ 8.6 million to revenue in last year's quarter and relatively
 low demand for advertising during the first weeks of the year.
     On a pro forma basis, excluding political advertising, net revenue was
 constant in comparison with the same period of 2000.
     "Last year's political ad spending made for a difficult year-on-year
 comparison," commented Luis J. Echarte, the CFO of TV Azteca.  "Fortunately,
 this effect was partially offset by our higher audience levels and the
 increases in advertising prices.  We expect that continued growth in consumer
 spending will continue to offset this statistical effect in the coming
 months."
     Revenue during the first quarter reflected an average 17 percent real
 increase in advertising rates and a reduction of 25 percent in the full day
 use of available time compared to the same period last year.
     TV Azteca's revenues include US$ 4.7 million in sales of content and
 advertising to Todito.com, US$ 0.7 million in advertising sales to Unefon, and
 a US$ 4.2 million cash payment from Azteca America, as compensation for the
 opportunity cost of not selling programming into the United States.
     Non-cash revenue fell during the quarter.  Barter sales were
 US$ 2.1 million, compared to US$ 3.7 million in the first quarter of 2000.
 Inflation adjustment of advertising advances contributed only US$ 2.7 million
 to revenue, compared to US$ 5.2 million in the same period of last year.
 
     Large Reduction in Production Costs
     Total costs and expenses were US$ 77 million in the first quarter, an
 8 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2000.  This included a
 12 percent reduction in production, programming, and transmission (PPT) costs
 and a 2 percent increase in administration and selling expense.
     "Given the weaker demand for advertising, we decreased internally-produced
 hours, designed programming grids with lower costs, and improved the
 efficiency of our production during the quarter," said Jose Ignacio Morales,
 TV Azteca's Chief Operating Officer. "We have also established an austere
 budget for the full year; accordingly, we expect to maintain these strict cost
 controls during the coming months."
     Total PPT costs for the quarter were US$ 55 million, a 12 percent decrease
 from the US$ 63 million recorded in the first quarter of the prior year and a
 20 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2000.
     TV Azteca produced 2,043 hours of programming during the quarter, an
 18 percent decrease from the 2,501 hours in the first quarter of 2000.  The
 largest reductions were in entertainment programs, which can be readily
 substituted by alternative programming.
     Administration and selling expense was US$ 22 million, a 2 percent
 increase over the US$ 21 million recorded in the first quarter of 2000.  The
 increase was largely the result of annual salary increases.  Compared to the
 fourth quarter of 2000, administration and selling expense decreased
 10 percent.
     As part of the effort to control costs and expenses, TV Azteca reduced its
 workforce by 4 percent to 4,401 employees during the quarter, from 4,573.
 Currently, 64 percent of employees are permanent, and 36 percent are free-
 lancers.
 
     US$ 40 Million in EBITDA in the Quarter
     As a result of the 7 percent decrease in net revenue and the
 8 percent decrease in costs and expenses, EBITDA in the quarter was
 US$ 40 million, slightly lower than the US$ 42 million recorded in the first
 quarter of 2000.  The EBITDA margin was 34 percent, one percentage point
 higher than the 33 percent recorded in the first quarter of 1999.
     "Our weekly monitoring of sales, costs, and margins, as well as the true
 flexibility we have to make changes in program production, give us important
 tools to react swiftly to market changes and maintain our profitability,"
 added Mr. Morales.
 
     Net Income
     Net income during the first quarter was US$ 11 million, compared to US$ 15
 million registered in the first quarter of last year.
     During the quarter, TV Azteca recorded other expenses of US$ 2.2 million
 for its 50 percent share in the net loss of Todito.com.
     The Company also recorded other financial income of US$ 0.5 million, as a
 result of the mark-to-market valuation of its 2.5 percent shareholding in El
 Sitio.
 
     Unefon Spin-off to Shareholders
     As previously announced, TV Azteca is in the process of spinning off its
 investment in Unefon to its shareholders in order to focus on its core media
 business.
     During the quarter, TV Azteca obtained consent from its noteholders to
 complete the spin-off.  With the consents, TV Azteca shareholders have the
 right to acquire a proportional interest in Unefon.  These rights will be
 exercisable in December 2002 at an aggregate exercise price of approximately
 US$ 177 million.  The exercise date will be accelerated in the event of a
 strategic sale or tender offer for Unefon or if the Board of Directors
 otherwise determines to do so.
     Unefon, the Mexican cellular operator focused on the mass market
 (BMV: UNEFON), currently offers service in 13 of Mexico's most important
 cities, with a covered population of 34 million persons. It has more than
 355,000 subscribers, more than two times the 156,000 at the end of the fourth
 quarter of 2000.
 
     Solid Performance by Todito.com
     Todito.com, a leading Internet portal for Spanish speakers in North
 America, which is 50 percent owned by TV Azteca, continues its growth in the
 Mexican Internet market.  It had approximately 167 million page views during
 the quarter, more than twice the 82 million hits in the first quarter of 2000.
 The number of registered users grew to 510,000, almost three times the 181,000
 in the first quarter of the prior year.
     During the quarter, Todito recorded revenue of US$ 1.9 million, four times
 the US$ 0.5 million of the same quarter last year.  Cash operating costs were
 US$ 1.2 million, 31 percent higher than in the same period of 2000, as a
 result of expenses for upgrading software.  Todito generated positive
 operating cash flow of US$ 0.5 million during the quarter.
 
     Standard & Poor's and Moody's Improve TV Azteca's Ratings Outlook
     During April, Standard & Poor's and Moody's both improved their ratings
 outlook for TV Azteca and Azteca Holdings.  Standard & Poor's changed its
 rating outlook to stable from negative, primarily reflecting the lowered risk
 associated with Unefon.
     Moody's changed its rating outlook to positive from stable, primarily
 reflecting TV Azteca's increased market share and financial strength.
 
     Company Profile
     TV Azteca is the second largest producer of Spanish programming in the
 world, and one of two broadcast television companies in Mexico, operating two
 national television networks, Azteca 13 and Azteca 7, through more than 250
 owned-and-operated stations located throughout Mexico.  TV Azteca also
 operates a national broadcast television network in El Salvador.  TV Azteca
 affiliates include Unefon, one of Mexico's leading cellular companies,
 Todito.com, an Internet portal for North American Spanish speakers, and Azteca
 America, a new broadcast television network focused on the rapidly growing US
 Hispanic market.
 
     Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press
 release are forward-looking statements and are subject to certain risks and
 uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those
 projected.  Risks that may affect TV Azteca are identified in its Form 20-F
 and other filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
 
 SOURCE  TV Azteca S.A. de C.V.