- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 12, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Media conglomerate Viacom Inc. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit fell 69 percent as the recession hurt growth and as it recorded $454 million in restructuring and other charges.

New York-based Viacom said it earned $173 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $559.5 million, or 86 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding restructuring and other charges, Viacom earned 76 cents per share. This is a penny less than what analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected.

Revenue was essentially flat at $4.24 billion — in line with analyst expectations.

Revenue from the company’s media networks, like MTV and Nickelodeon, rose 1 percent to $2.48 billion.

Global ad revenue for the networks fell 3 percent to $1.35 billion, while cable and satellite affiliate revenue that rose 12 percent to $667 million. Ancillary revenue was flat at $462 million.

Revenue from filmed entertainment, which includes film studio Paramount Pictures, dipped 2 percent to $1.81 billion. The company said this was due mainly to a 6 percent drop in home entertainment revenue, which fell to $1.02 billion.

Theatrical revenue grew 28 percent to $350 million, mostly because of strong revenue from the film “Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa.”

But television license fees fell 13 percent to $351 million. Ancillary revenue rose 9 percent to $86 million.

“Our fourth-quarter results reflect the realities of a challenging economy,” said Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman in a statement.

Viacom expects the restructuring moves it made in the fourth quarter to save it about $200 million in 2009.

For the full year, Viacom earned $1.25 billion, or $2 per share, compared with $1.84 billion, or $2.72 per share, in 2007.

Adjusted earnings rose to $2.38 per share — an increase of 2 cents per share over 2007.

The company’s revenue rose 9 percent to $14.63 billion in 2008 from $13.42 billion in 2007.

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