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Viacom’s fiscal revenue down 4%

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate Viacom has reported full-year revenues of $13.27 billion, a decline of four per cent from the prior fiscal year. Excluding an unfavourable two per cent impact of foreign exchange, revenues decreased by two per cent.

Media Networks revenues rose by three per cent to $10.49 billion, reflecting a five per cent increase in affiliate fees and a one per cent gain in worldwide advertising revenues. Film revenues decreased by 23 per cent, principally due to lower revenues across the distribution windows reflecting the mix of films. Excluding an unfavorable two per cent and four per cent impact of foreign exchange, Media Networks revenues increased by five per cent and film revenues declined by 19 per cent, respectively.

Quarterly revenues declined by five per cent to $3.79 billion. Excluding an unfavorable three per cent impact of foreign exchange, revenues decreased by two per cent. Media Networks revenues grew by five per cent to $2.79 billion, principally due to growth in affiliate fees and international ad revenues, partially offset by declines in US ad revenues. Domestic and worldwide affiliate revenues increased by 15 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively, driven by higher revenues related to the timing of programming made available under certain distribution agreements, as well as rate increases.

US ad revenues declined by seven per cent, reflecting a decline in traditional television ratings. Worldwide advertising revenues decreased by one per cent, reflecting the domestic decline partially offset by a 45 per cent increase in international advertising revenues, driven by growth in Europe, primarily by Channel 5.

Film revenues declined by 24 per cent to $1.03 billion, driven by the mix of this quarter’s releases compared to the prior year quarter, which included the strong performance of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Overall, theatrical revenues declined by 20 per cent to $447 million. Home entertainment revenues declined by 54 per cent.

Viacom executive chairman Sumner M. Redstone said, “Viacom continues to create some of the most compelling and entertaining content in the world. I am confident that Viacom’s leadership team will continue to lead through our industry’s period of transition and succeed well into the future.”

Viacom president, CEO Philippe Dauman said, “Viacom’s fourth quarter and year-end results are indicative of our progress in key areas, including recent ratings improvement and renewals of important distribution agreements. Our strategy of increasing and accelerating investment in original content and expanding our profitable international footprint are among the major factors driving this success, which we believe will continue in 2016 and beyond. We are making great progress in tackling industry-wide inefficiencies in audience measurement, while expanding our audience reach with landmark distribution agreements.

“Viacom’s family of Media Networks are the most watched by highly coveted younger audiences, and we are building engagement on all platforms, leading to first-of-their-kind marketing opportunities with our advertising partners. Our investment in content continues to grow, supporting an unprecedented amount of quality original programming and a more robust slate of films. In addition, in fiscal 2015 we launched 21 channels overseas – including six in India – fueling the fastest international growth in our history.”

Quarterly adjusted operating income was $1.06 billion, a decline of 13 per cent compared to the prior year. Media Networks adjusted operating income decreased by six per cent as the increase in revenues was more than offset by higher programming and marketing expenses. Film adjusted operating income declined by 43 per cent, driven by the strong contribution of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ in the prior year’s quarter.

Full-year adjusted operating income declined by five per cent to $3.92 billion. Media Networks adjusted operating income decreased by three per cent to $4.14 billion, as higher revenues were more than offset by an increase in programming and marketing expenses. Film adjusted operating income decreased by $94 million, reflecting lower revenues.

Quarterly adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom declined by 16 per cent to $614 million, driven by the decline in adjusted operating income. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for the quarter declined 10 per cent to $1.54, which includes a $0.05 negative impact of foreign exchange.

Full-year adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom were $2.21 billion, a decrease of seven per cent principally driven by lower adjusted operating income. Adjusted diluted earnings per share from continuing operations increased by one per cent to $5.44, which includes a $0.14 negative impact of foreign exchange.