Viacom Profit Jumps As Advertising Picks Up

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From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK — Viacom Inc.’s cable TV channels got better ratings and took in more advertising revenue in the first quarter, boosting the company’s net profit 38 per cent.

The results released Thursday by the New York media conglomerate offer another sign that businesses are putting more money into winning consumers’ attention again. Media of all kinds suffered last year as companies slashed ad spending.

Viacom, whose cable channels include BET, MTV Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, said Thursday that domestic ad sales grew 1 per cent from the same quarter a year ago. Worldwide advertising rose 3 per cent.

The figures came a day after Comcast Corp. reported a jump in ad revenue at its cable channels, including E! Entertainment Television, Style Network and the Golf Channel.

Viacom said its first-quarter profit came to $245 million, or 40 cents per share. That rose from $177 million, or 29 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

On average, analysts expected 38 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Revenue slipped 4 per cent to $2.8 billion. Analysts had predicted $2.9 billion.

The strong cable TV results helped offset declining revenue at Paramount Pictures — although the film studio narrowed its losses by slashing costs and focusing on a smaller slate of films.

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