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Viacom 2Q Profit Rises Slightly As Film Unit Crimps TV Results

A slight revenue increase at its TV operations helped Viacom improve profit in its second quarter, even as performance at its filmed-entertainment unit weighed on results.

The New York owner of MTV, Paramount and Comedy Central said net earnings from continuing operations increased 4% to $502 million, or $1.13 a share, compared with $481 million, or 96 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Viacom earned $1.08 per share excluding items.

Revenues for the quarter rose to $3.174 billion from $3.135 billion in the year-earlier period.

Performance at the company’s cable networks drove the quarter. Revenue at the operations rose 6% to $2.38 billion in the period, compared with $2.23 billion in the year-earlier period. Viacom said higher fees from video distributors and improved ad revenue helped results. Domestic ad revenue rose 2% while worldwide ad revenue rose 3% to $1.12 billion

Revenue at the company’s film operations, however, fell 12% to $831 million, compared with $941 million in the year-earlier quarter. Viacom cited  lower carryover revenues from prior period releases.  The company said theatrical revenues decreased 17% from the , with strong domestic carryover revenues from “The Wolf of Wall Street””  offset by lower international theatrical revenues. Worldwide home entertainment revenues decreased 30%, due to fewer current quarter releases and a decrease in carryover revenues.

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