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Viacom 1Q Net Income Rises 16% Despite Film Revenue Declines

Viacom said advertising revenue at its many cable-TV networks drove a 16% increase in net income its fiscal first quarter as it narrowed an operating loss at its filmed-entertainment division.

Viacom’s net income from continuing operations rose to $547 million, or $1.20 per share, compared with$470 million, or 92 cents per share in the year-earlier period

But the New York owner of MTV, Comedy Central and the Paramount movie studio said revenue fell 4%, as declines at its movie unit offset an uptick in revenue from the company’s TV networks. Overall, Viacom said first-quarter revenue fell to about $3.2 billion, down 4% from the approximately $3.3 billion it reported in the year-earlier period.

While revenue rose 6% at the company’s cable networks to $2.54 billion, compared with $2.39 billion in the year-earlier period, revenue fell 30% to $681 million at its filmed-entertainment operations, compared with $975 million in the year-earlier quarter. Viacom cited fewer titles released during the period as well as a decline in home-entertainment revenue.

At its TV networks, Viacom said revenue from video distributors rose 10% due to rate increases, while ad revenue rose 3% owing to ratings trends. Worldwide ad revenue rose 4% to $1.33 billion. Operating income increased 8%.

At the company’s film operations, theatrical revenues fell 52%, compared with the year-earlier period, thanks to fewer releases and lower carryover revenue. Viacom said home-entertainment revenue fell 37%.  The unit narrowed an operating loss to $74 million, cutting the shortfall by 47% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Viacom cited lower expenses due to the reduced number of theatrical releases.

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