Viacom’s 4Q Profit Increases On ‘World War Z,’ Ad Sales

Owner of MTV, Paramount beats Wall Street expectations

Philippe Dauman

Viacom said fourth-quarter net income rose  about 24% on the strength of ticket sales for its “World War Z,” released  in the third quarter as well as advertising sales at its cable networks.

The New York owner of MTV, Comedy Central and the Paramount movie studio said net income rose to $804 million, or $1.68 a share, compared with $650 million, or $1.26 a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue in the period increased 9% to $3.65 billion from $3.36 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

Wall Street analysts had expected the company to post $1.44 per share.

At the company’s cable networks, which also include Spike and VH-1, revenue rose 7% to $2.46 billion, owing to what the company said was an increase in both revenue from advertising and distribution.  Ad revenue rose 10% in both the company’s domestic and foreign operations, owing to rate increases. Revenue from the cable networks came to $2.29 billion in the year-earlier period.

At Viacom’s filmed-entertainment operations,  revenue rose 11% to $1.21 billion, owing to increase in revenue from theatrical releases as well as home entertainment. Viacom said revenue from theatrical releases rose 31% due to “carryover” revenue from “World War Z” in the third quarter. Home-entertainment revenue rose 24%. In the year-earlier period, revenue came to nearly $1.09 billion.