Entertainment conglomerate Viacom (NYSE: VIA), today reported Q1 numbers that beat analyst estimates but overall profit was reported down 36% due to restructuring costs ($56m at MTV) and increased expenses.
First quarter revenue was up 16% over the same period last year to $2.75b. Consensus estimates were for revenue of $2.55b. Ad sales were up globally by 10%. Operating income was down 3%. Net income was reported at $202.9m, down from $317.2m.
For the Cable Networks (MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, BET and Comedy Central, Spike, CMT etc), executives downplayed TV ratings and suggested their focus is on building Internet presence and online affiliate advertising. They noted Nickelodeon’s online project Nicktropolis had 3m registered users since January. For TV audiences, Comedy Central continued to do well but MTV visitors were watching the site less frequently. Overall, revenue for the TV properties was up 10% but operating income was down by 3%.
For the Paramount Studios component, sales were up 27%, but there was an operating loss. Filmed entertainment operating income showed a loss of $105.7 million, from net income of $51.1 million for the same period last year. That was attributed to increase in expenses related to higher print and advertising costs.
More detailed press coverage on Viacom’s finances can be found at: