TVA Group Inc. (TSX:TVA.B), North America's largest private-sector French-language broadcaster and magazine publisher, has reported sharply higher earnings in the fourth quarter, boosted by growth in its television sector.

The company, a subsidiary of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.A), said Monday it earned $21.1 million or 89 cents a share in the period ended Dec. 31. That's up from year-ago profits of $14.5 million or 61 cents a share.

Revenue was $128.5 million, up slightly from $127 million in the year-earlier period.

TVA said the television sector's normalized operating income increased by $4.8 million or 24.6 per cent, mainly because of a 22.6 per cent increase in the TVA Network's normalized operating income.

Full-year net income totalled $49.1 million or $2.05 a share, up from $44.9 million or $1.78 a share in 2008.

TVA's operating revenue for all of 2009 was $439 million versus $436.7 million.

It declared a five cent dividend, payable April 7.

Shares of the company were up 51 cents at $13.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange in midday trading Monday.