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"We began 2003 as we ended 2002, with record results and excellent prospects for continued growth. Once again, the strength of Viacom's cable networks and television operations… paced the company's growth."
——Mel Karmazin, President/COO, Viacom
VIACOM’S RECORD RESULTS
Conglom Swings to Profit in First Quarter on Strong Performances by Cable, Television Divisions

Viacom, owner of MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures and CBS, sounded a rare positive note among its fellow media conglomerates when it said Tuesday it swung to a profit for the first quarter.

The company's numbers were boosted by strong performances by its cable-networks division and television unit.

The conglomerate reported net income of $443 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a loss of $1.11 billion, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier. The year-earlier loss included a $1.48 billion charge for writing down goodwill related to its 81%-owned Blockbuster unit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

First-quarter net earnings before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principles increased 26% to $462 million, or 26 cents a share, from $367 million, or 21 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Viacom said its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 12% to a record $1.23 billion, from $1.10 billion a year earlier.

"We began 2003 as we ended 2002, with record results and excellent prospects for continued growth," said Mel Karmazin, President/COO, Viacom. "Once again, the strength of Viacom's cable networks and television operations… paced the company's growth."

Viacom said revenue rose 7% to $6.05 billion, compared with $5.67 billion a year earlier, led by 14% growth in its video segment and 13% growth in cable networks.

Operating income increased 14% to a record $987 million from $866 million, led by double-digit growth in cable networks, television and video segments.

Based on first quarter results, Viacom said it is on track to deliver mid-single digit revenue growth resulting in double-digit EBITDA growth and mid-teen growth in operating income and earnings per share for the full year 2003.

In the quarter, EBITDA in Viacom's TV segment, which includes its broadcast networks CBS and UPN and its TV station group, rose 13% to $279.6 million from $252.2 million. The Infinity radio segment saw EBITDA flat at $197.5 million. Viacom's cable-networks division posted a 19% advance in EBITDA to $479.9 million from $403.3 million a year earlier.

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