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Italy's Mediaset says 2020 outlook uncertain due to coronavirus crisis

FILE PHOTO: The Mediaset tower is seen in Cologno Monzese neighbourhood Milan

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's top commercial broadcaster Mediaset <MS.MI> said on Wednesday it could not provide an outlook for the year due to a coronavirus outbreak which has forced Rome to put the whole of Italy under lockdown until next month.

"Visibility has diminished significantly in recent weeks due to the Covid-19 emergency," Mediaset said in a statement.

"As things stands it is not possible to provide reliable forecasts over the crisis impacts on company's results," it added.

The Milan-based group, controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, reported a near five-fold yearly increase in 2019 operating profit to 354.6 million euros, as lower costs, including on soccer rights, offset falling revenue.

Domestic sales were 1.98 billion euros last year down from 2.42 billion euros in 2018.

The group's operating costs fell to 1.99 billion euros from 2.34 million euros in 2018.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by Valentina Za)