Television

Viacom's Q3 revenues up 7% to $2.66 billion

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MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Viacom Viacom has reported financial results for the third quarter ended 30 September, 2006.

The company reported revenues and operating income of $2.66 billion and $655.5 million, respectively, for the quarter, compared with revenues and pro forma operating income of $2.48 billion and $744.5 million, respectively, in the third quarter of 2005.

The seven per cent growth in revenues was driven by a 10 per cent revenue increase in the cable networks segment. Operating income however declined 12 per cent versus 2005 pro forma operating income, as a 14 per cent gain in the cable networks segment operating income was more than offset by a decline in the Entertainment segment.

Viacom executive chairman Sumner M. Redstone said, "Considering the short time that Philippe Dauman has been in place as CEO, I am truly impressed with our solid third quarter results, particularly the performance of our well-known cable brands. I am confident that you will see further operational success in the not too distant future. Viacom will continue to expand on its creative heritage and move rapidly to the forefront of emerging digital markets, keeping us on the path to outstanding long term financial performance and free cash flow generation."

Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said, "We achieved significant financial and operational progress in the third quarter and we remain on track to deliver on our goals for the full year. I see even greater opportunities to build for future growth as we harness Viacom's powerful brands, popular content and unique connections with the audiences that are driving the digital revolution. Viacom is rich in the short-form content that is highly attractive to online consumers, underscored by our position as a leading entertainment content property on the Internet today with an aggregate 37 million monthly unique visitors in September.

"We intend to continue to invest in our future and enhance profitability for the long term, as well as for the short term. We are making rapid progress and are intensifying our focus on continuing to grow our industry- leading flagship brands both here and in promising markets abroad, on accelerating the growth of our less-developed cable channels and underutilized content libraries, and on driving existing and newly created programming to audiences across every platform.

"In addition to internal development, we will continue to apply a rigorous and selective approach to acquisitions that emphasizes coordination and execution and will add businesses in core areas that offer compelling experiences for our consumers."

Revenues increased by $182.3 million, or seven per cent to $2.66 billion. Cable networks segment revenues increased 10 per cent to $1.84 billion. Worldwide ad revenues at the Cable Networks segment increased by seven per cent to $1,090.1 million and affiliate fees climbed 12 per cent to $510.4 million. Cable networks segment acquisitions contributed $23.7 million of revenue growth, principally internationally, or 1.4 points of the segment's total growth.

The entertainment segment revenues were up one per cent or $11.9 million. DreamWorks and the distribution activities for DreamWorks Animation and DreamWorks live-action library films acquired on 31 January, 2006 contributed $279.2 million which was almost entirely offset by the box office success of War of the Worlds in the third quarter of last year. Films released in the current quarter included World Trade Center, The Last Kiss.

The company reaffirms its full year 2006 guidance to deliver double digit revenue and operating income growth compared to 2005 revenues of $9.61 billion and 2005 pro forma operating income excluding unusual charges of $2.60 billion.

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