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Comcast: Profits Rise, Ads Rebound

Cabler’s advertising up 23 percent; company expects NBCU deal approval this year

As Comcast waits for its $30 billion merger with NBC Universal to be approved by federal regulators, the company reported a good fiscal start to 2010.

Comcast said on Tuesday that an ad rebound and new customers helped its first quarter profit rise to $866 million, or 31 cents per share.

That was up 12 percent over Comcast’s $772 million, 27 cents per share net income the last year. The results beat analysts’ estimates by about 1 cent share.

“Advertising growth came back in a big way,” Comcast chief Brian Roberts told Bloomberg Television shortly after the earnings announcement.

Advertising revenue increased 23 percent to $360 million during the period, the company said.

Comcast said it added 1.02 million net new customers, touting faster Internet connections and Xfinity, its rebranded on-demand Web television service.

Comcast – the U.S.’s largest cable company — also said it expects to gain regulatory approval of its proposed merger with NBCU sometime this year.

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