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VIACOM 3Q EARNINGS
Revenues, EBITDA Drop Slightly, but Cable, Video Segments Show Strong Growth
Viacom today announced its results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2001, reporting pro forma revenues of $5.71 billion and pro forma EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $1.33 billion.

Those numbers exclude the primarily non-cash Blockbuster charge of $353 million. And for more on that nail-biter of a story, please see yesterday’s story about Blockbuster’s numbers (hitsdailydouble.com, 10/23).

Pro forma free cash flow for the 2001 third quarter was $883 million, or 50 cents a share. There was no word on the company’s "funky fresh flow."

Viacom's pro forma results for the third quarter of 2001 were led by EBITDA growth of 19% in the cable networks and video segments. Hooray for cable networks! Hooray for video!

"Despite the significant economic impact of Sept. 11 and subsequent events, our businesses and our balance sheet remain exceptionally strong," said Viacom Chairman and CEO Sumner M. Redstone. "Viacom's third quarter results demonstrate the strength of our assets, the breadth of our leading brands and the talent and commitment of our management team. "

For the third quarter of 2001, Viacom reported revenues of $5.71 billion, EBITDA of $977 million and free cash flow of $591 million, or 33 cents a share, versus revenues of $5.81 billion, EBITDA of $1.44 billion and free cash flow of $922 million, or 61 cents a share, for the prior year period. The company reported a net loss of $190 million, or a loss of 11 cents a share, for the third quarter.

Viacom’s cable networks—which include MTV, MTV2, VH1, TNN, CMT and BET, among others—did quite well, while Viacom’s TV units (including CBS and UPN) saw some shortfalls.

Cable networks' pro forma revenues and EBITDA were $1.10 billion and $472 million for 2001 third quarter, versus pro forma revenues and EBITDA of $1.01 billion and $395 million in the prior year's third quarter. Television recorded pro forma revenues of $1.59 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $283 million for the 2001 third quarter, versus pro forma revenues of $1.69 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $348 million for the comparable prior year quarter. Revenue and EBITDA shortfalls were primarily the result of continuing softness in the advertising market and the impact of the commercial-free events of Sept. 11.

Viacom’s Infinity radio holdings recorded pro forma revenues of $910 million and pro forma EBITDA of $373 million for the 2001 third quarter, versus pro forma revenues of $1.01 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $457 million for the prior year's third quarter.

The company’s entertainment division (including Paramount Pictures) reported revenues of $797 million and EBITDA of $93 million versus revenues of $786 million and EBITDA of $175 million in the prior year's third quarter.

As reported yesterday, Viacom’s Blockbuster Video saw revenues of $1.26 billion increased from $1.19 billion and pro forma EBITDA of $142 million, excluding the primarily non-cash charge, increased from $119 million, principally due to higher worldwide same store sales and an increase in the number of company-operated stores.

The company’s publishing unit also saw a rise in revenues, up from $167 million to $184 million. Publishing reported EBITDA of $22 million, versus $28 million in the comparable prior year period.

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