NEW YORK–(FirstCall)–Viacom Inc., today reported strong double-digit growth in its fourth quarter 2009 adjusted operating income, adjusted net earnings from continuing operations and adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS), reflecting an outstanding performance in its Filmed Entertainment segment and solid growth in Media Networks.
Revenues in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009 declined 3% to $4.1 billion with lower results in Media Networks and Filmed Entertainment. Adjusted operating income of $1.15 billion was up 24% over the fourth quarter 2008 results, reflecting a significant increase in profitability in the Filmed Entertainment segment and cost containment measures across the Company. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom increased 43% to $663 million and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations were $1.09, up 43% over the fourth quarter 2008 results.
Revenues for the full year 2009 decreased 7% to $13.62 billion as growth in affiliate revenues was offset by decreases in feature film, ancillary and advertising revenues. The 1% gain in adjusted operating income of $3.0 billion for the year was driven by a $148 million increase in the Filmed Entertainment segment. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom grew 5% to $1.56 billion and adjusted diluted earnings per share were $2.56, an 8% increase over the prior year’s adjusted results of $2.38 per share.
Sumner M. Redstone, Executive Chairman of Viacom, said, “Viacom’s results over the past year have been extraordinary and illustrate the value of a well planned strategy and execution. Despite the economic challenges, we performed extremely well across our media networks and motion picture operations. As a result of the quality of our operations and wealth of creative talent throughout the Company, we are well positioned for success not only today but long into the future.”
Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viacom, said, “Our disciplined and content-focused strategy helped Viacom close out the year with a stronger balance sheet, a streamlined cost structure and a reinvigorated creative mandate across the company. Despite a global recession that impacted all aspects of our business, the multiple revenue streams of our cable networks helped temper the impact of an industry-wide downturn in advertising and retail, and also allowed us to continue to invest in new programming to build our brands. The resurgence of BET and MTV’s recent ratings gains are strong examples of the relevance our brands have with their target audiences.
“Paramount Pictures significantly boosted its profitability in 2009 as the studio’s strategy of producing a smaller slate of films, anchored by franchises, began to pick up momentum. We also were pleased to see renewed consumer demand for our new DVD and Blu-ray releases in the fourth quarter. Looking ahead, Paramount has built a very strong slate for 2010, kicking off next week with the release of Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island.”