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Viacom in black 1st year since ’87

Powered by its MTV Networks and Cable Television divisions, Viacom Inc. reported full-year net profits from operations for the first time since Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements acquired the company in 1987.

Net earnings were $ 49 million (41 cents per share) for the year ended Dec. 31 vs. a net loss of $ 50 million (44 cents) in 1991. Before extraordinary items , net earnings totaled $ 66 million (55 cents), vs. a net loss of $ 47 million ( 41 cents) in 1991.

’92 was the year

“1992 was the year when the growth of our businesses drove our financial results into profitability, with net earnings exceeding those of the prior year by nearly $ 100 million,” president/CEO Frank J. Biondi Jr. said.

The company said earnings results were driven by revenues of $ 1.9 billion and segment earnings from operations of $ 419 million, both at record levels for the fifth consecutive year.

10% higher

Fourth-quarter revenues of $ 512 million were 10% higher and segment earnings from operations of $ 99 million were 11% higher than the fourth quarter of 1991. Fourth-quarter net earnings were $ 12 million (10 cents), vs. a net loss of $ 32 million (27 cents) in 1991.

Wall Street analysts said the results were in line with their expectations. Viacom fell off 62.5 cents to close yesterday at $ 43 per share.

Consolidated earnings from operations of $ 348 million for the year increased 11% from ’91. Fourth-quarter consolidated earnings from operations of $ 68 million were up slightly.

41% increase

The aggregate price of one share of Class A and one share of Class B common stock increased 41% during the fourth quarter; as a result, only $ 2 million of the maximum potential liability under the plans remained unaccrued Dec. 31.

Net interest decreased

Due to favorable interest rates, net interest expense of $ 42 million for the fourth quarter decreased 49%.

The networks segment, which includes MTV Networks and Showtime Networks Inc., reported earnings from operations of $ 206 million, an increase of 19% over 1991 . Revenues increased 15% to $ 1.059 billion.

Cable segment increased

Cable Television segment earnings from operations of $ 122 million increased 17% and revenues of $ 411 million increased 9% over 1991.

The broadcasting segment, which includes radio and television operations, reported earnings from operations of $ 432 million for 1992, an increase of 15%. Broadcasting revenues of $ 169 million rose 6%, reflecting higher advertising sales. TV revenues increased 9%; radio increased 3%.

Entertainment segment revenues of $ 248 million were down 9% from 1991.

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