MONTREAL — Astral Media Inc. says its profit grew sharply in the fourth quarter, a period when the Montreal-based television, radio and billboard company was working towards being taken over by BCE Inc.Astral’s net earnings for the quarter rose to $54.3-million, up 14% from $47-million a year earlier.Its earnings per share grew to 96 cents from 85 cents per share.Revenue grew at a slower pace, rising by 2% to $251.8-million from $247.6-million.Astral noted that the CRTC has blocked its takeover by the owner of Bell Canada and CTV and that BCE has asked the federal cabinet to intervene.[np-related]Astral added there can be no assurance of the outcome of BCE’s efforts and said it will continue as an independent company.“I am very pleased with the solid performance delivered by our business units in fiscal 2012, particularly with the strong finish in the fourth quarter, consolidating the company’s 16th consecutive year of profitable growth,” said Astral CEO and president Ian Greenberg.“We remain fully committed to maintain the same financial discipline that allowed the company to grow in Fiscal 2012 and to continue to invest in content and new products in order to offer the highest possible quality of products and services.” read more