Viacom Profits Rise 14 Percent

Jul 22, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Sumner Redstone’s Viacom today reported a 14 percent jump in second-quarter profit as advertising revenue gains at the media giant’s cable and broadcast properties offset weakness in the company’s radio and outdoor advertising businesses.

The company reported a profit of $754 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $660 million, or 37 cents a share. Revenue advanced 7 percent to $6.4 billion.

Driving the financial results was Viacom’s television business, with cable networks posting a 23 percent surge in operating income and an 18 percent rise in revenue. The results for cable came as the company’s cable properties delivered a 26 percent increase in advertising revenue, driven by a 27 percent rise in ad revenue at MTV Networks. On the affiliate-fee front, MTV Networks and BET recorded an 8 percent increase, which offset a 5 percent decline at Showtime. Ancillary revenue climbed 17 percent, thanks to higher consumer product licensing revenue and higher home video revenue, mainly from sales of “Chappelle’s Show.”

Meanwhile, television revenue jumped 11 percent to $2.1 billion, while operating revenue advanced 35 percent to $528 million, thanks to a 10 percent rise in advertising revenue at the network and an 8 percent increase at the owned-and-operated television stations. Syndication sales were also up, due to “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” sales to basic cable.