MIAMI — Univision Communications reported a 68% surge in net income in the first quarter to $12.8 million, up from $7.6 million a year ago.
Revenue at the Spanish-lingo media conglom — including its TV, music and Internet divisions — jumped 22% to $261.7 million from $214.4 million in the same period a year ago.
Execs warned, however, that consolidated second-quarter revenue will be flat or slightly down vs. a year ago due to tough comparisons with last year, when the frame got a big kick from World Cup-related advertising.
Even so, during a conference call with analysts, executives forecast that the bottom line in the second quarter would increase by over 40%, from 9¢ per share to 13¢-14¢ a share.
First-quarter revenues from the core TV business increased 11% to $231.5 million, while cash flow from the division increased 12% to $67.2 million — despite a loss of an estimated $3 million in revenue and $2 million in operating income associated with war coverage.
Univision networks prexy Ray Rodriguez said the Univision and TeleFutura networks were cutting into the share of NBC-owned Telemundo. For the quarter, the two broadcast nets had a full-day total Hispanic household share of 79%, 83% during primetime.
Among adults 18-49, Univision and TeleFutura had an all-day share of 81% and in primetime of 84% — the latter up five points vs. a year ago, said Rodriguez.
Execs expressed optimism for the upfront, and exec veep of network sales and marketing Ronald Furman noted that ad sales heading into summer were positive, with summer movies and other entertainment among the strongest categories, along with automotive.
Auto ads were up 4% in the first quarter, said exec VP Andrew Hobson.
Univision’s music division experienced a jump in revenue from $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2002 to $27.5 million this year, reflecting the integration of the Fonovisa label. The music biz also generated positive operating income vs. negative operating income last year of $1.2 million.
Revenue was up very slightly at the Internet division to $2.7 million, but Univision managed to narrow the losses generated by Univision.com.
Univision plans to add radio company Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. to its portfolio. The purchase has been okayed by the Justice Dept. but Federal Communications Commission approval is pending.
Results were released after the market closed. Univision stock closed down 5% to $29.15 on Thursday.