Viacom reports six per cent increase in year revenue

NEW YORK: Media conglomerate Viacom has reported record results for the fourth quarter and full year ended 31 December 2002.

For the fourth quarter, Viacom revenues increased 12 per cent to $6.8 billion from $6.0 billion for the same period last year, led by a 14 per cent growth in advertising revenues. Operating income increased to $1.3 billion from $277 million, reflecting strong growth in the Television, Cable Networks and Entertainment segment.

The company's EBITDA (operating income before tax depreciation and amortisation) in the fourth quarter of 2002 increased 42 per cent to $1.5 billion from $1.1 billion.

For 2002 the company's revenues increased 6 per cent to $24.6 billion from $23.2 billion with a 5 per cent overall increase in advertising revenues, including double-digit growth at MTV Networks and the Television stations group.

Operating income increased to $4.6 billion from $1.5 billion in the prior year. For the full year 2002, the company's EBITDA increased 22 per cent to $5.5 billion from $4.5 billion in 2001.

For the year, cable networks revenues increased 10 per cent to $4.7 billion from $4.3 billion and operating income increased 44 per cent to $1.8 billion from $1.2 billion. Revenue and operating income increases were driven by 12 per cent advertising growth and an 8 per cent increase in affiliate fees paced by double-digit increases at MTVN. For the year, cable networks EBITDA increased 17 per cent to $2.0 billion

For the year, television revenues increased three per cent to $7.5 billion from $7.2 billion and operating income increased to $1.2 billion from $402 million. CBS and UPN Networks combined delivered 2 per cent growth in advertising revenues for the year, or 6 per cent excluding the impact of the Super Bowl in 2001. The Stations group delivered 12 per cent year-over-year advertising revenue growth with KCAL contributing 5 per cent of this growth. Television EBITDA increased 13 per cent to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion

The Company expects to deliver mid-single digit revenue growth resulting in double-digit EBITDA growth and mid-teen growth in operating income and earnings per share for 2003.

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