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Viacom Q2 Profit Falls In Wake of Restructuring

Viacom saw profit in the second quarter plummet as the result of a one-time restructuring charge of $784 million during the period and noted that revenue from U.S. advertising fell for the second time in two earnings disclosures.

The New York owner of MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and the Paramount movie studio reported a net loss of $53 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a profit of $502 million, or $1.13 a share, in the year-earlier period. The shift represents a tumble of 111%. Excluding the restructuring charge and other items, Viacom reported $1.16 a share, compared with $1.08 a share in the year-earlier period.

Viacom last month reworked its cable operations and eliminated hundreds of positions as part of an effort to streamline the company in the wake of ratings shortfalls at its TV operations. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has in the recent past articulated a strategy of realigning Viacom’s media outlets to be more focused on digital distribution as more consumers tap into on-demand video streaming. On Wednesday, the company unveiled a new advertising product that aims to help sponsors use data to find specific kinds of audiences watching Viacom content.

The company has said it expected to reap $350 million in annual cost savings as a result of the restructuring, with $175 million coming in 2015.

The company said revenue fell 3% in the period, to $3.078 billion from $3.174 billion, as a 21% decrease in revenue from filmed entertainment offset a 3% gain in revenue at the company’s cable networks.

In the U.S., domestic advertising revenues fell 5%, owing to lower ratings, the company said. Worldwide advertising revenues rose 4%, due to an 80% increase in international advertising revenues resulting from growing overseas operations. Viacom acquired Channel 5 in London in September of last year. Viacom said U.S. affiliate revenues rose 5% and worldwide affiliate revenues grew 3%, largely because of rate increases.

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