For the quarter just ended, Viacom revenues increased by five per
cent and touched a record $6.60 billion. For the corresponding quarter
last year, the figure stood at $6.31 billion. The company has stated
that there was growth in nearly every business segment. Contributing
to the results was overall ad revenue growth of eight per cent to
$2.88 billion. The operating income of $1.38 billion was led by
gains of 20 per cent in cable networks, 19 per cent in television
and 25 per cent in video.
Cable networks revenues increased 18 per cent to $1.47 billion
from $1.24 billion, led by a 25 per cent increase in ad revenues.
The increase in advertising revenues was driven by 26 per cent growth
at MTV Networks and 24 per cent growth at BET. Comedy Central, acquired
in May, contributed 11 per cent of cable networks' advertising revenue
growth for the quartee.
Viacom CEO Sumner M. Redstone made the following remarks, "Viacom....continued
to deliver value to shareholders by using our strong free cash flow
to purchase our stock and to declare a quarterly dividend. Looking
ahead, we remain confident that 2004 will be the best year in Viacom's
history. It will be led by expectations of a continued economic
resurgence, a return to the historic mix of growth in advertising
markets and the favourable impact of unique programming and political
events during the coming year."
Meanwhile, for the nine months ended 30 September, revenues increased
by seven per cent to $19.07 billion from $17.83 billion in the same
period last year. Looking ahead to 2004, the company expects to
deliver revenue growth of five to seven per cent. This will result
in operating income growth in the region of 12 to 14 per cent.