Viacom’s Q1 revenue climbs but operating income falls

Viacom_CREDIT_André-Pierre du Plessis-Flickr
Viacom’s Paramount segment revenue climbed a whopping 24% to $758 million. (André-Pierre du Plessis/Flickr)

Viacom today announced mixed quarterly results as the struggling programmer tries to right the ship under its new CEO Bob Bakish.

Viacom’s fiscal first quarter revenues rose 5% to $3.32 billion on the strength of improved theatrical revenues and a return to growth in domestic affiliate revenues.

However, operating income declined 16% to $706 million, and adjusted operating income declined 11% to $748 million. The drops in income were partly due to restructuring costs related to executive severance incurred in the first fiscal quarter.

"Viacom's first quarter results reflect improvement in our core businesses, with increases in revenues and operating cash flow, continued strong international performance, including initial contributions from the acquisition of Telefe, and a return to positive growth in affiliate revenues. We are already benefiting from changes made early in the second quarter and seeing green shoots in our strongest businesses, as well as those that are poised for a turnaround. As we implement our strategy across the company, we believe we can drive significant value for shareholders," Bakish said in a statement.

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Viacom’s media networks revenues remained mostly flat, up 1% to $2.59 billion. Without factoring in the 2% impact of foreign exchange, the company’s worldwide revenues increased 3%, while domestic revenues remained flat at $2.06 billion and international revenues grew 5% to $534 million.

Affiliate revenues jumped 2% to $1.14 billion, due in part to an increase in domestic revenues reflecting rate increases and the impact of SVOD and other OTT agreements. Still, the segment’s revenues were dinged slightly by a decline in subscribers.

Meanwhile, Viacom’s advertising revenues fell 2% to $1.29 billion, with a 1% increase in international advertising revenues being offset by a 3% decrease in domestic advertising revenues. Viacom blamed the domestic ad slip on softer ratings at certain networks.

While media networks achieved modest growth at best, Viacom’s Paramount segment revenue climbed a whopping 24% to $758 million. The growth came in part due to domestic theatrical revenues increasing 128% and international theatrical revenues increasing 73%.

Licensing revenues for Paramount grew 3% to $245 million in the quarter. Domestic licensing revenues increased 41% but international licensing revenues decreased 17%.