Profits up but revs slip in Viacom Q2 | Major Businesses | Business
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As it continues on what it calls its evolution, media giant Viacom has reported a second quarter showing revenues hitting headwinds while still posting a rise in profits after noticeable falls in operating expenses.
PlutoTV new channels 7Feb2019
For the second quarter of its financial year ended 31 March 2019, Viacom reported total revenues of $2.96 billion, down 6% on an annual basis lading to a total of $6.048 billion for the half year, itself slipping 3% year-on-year. Operating income for the quarter was $573 million, rising 26% compared with Q1 2018, and for the half year Viacom operating income was $1.175 billion, almost identical to the previous year.

Looking at business segments, home entertainment revenue for the quarter was $154 million, slipping 6% annually, while licensing revenues tumbled 34% year on year to $315 million. Viacom said that licensing revenue was primarily impacted by the timing of TV production availabilities and comparisons to 2018 direct-to-SVOD release of certain films.

Media Networks revenue decreased 7% compared with Q1 2018 to $2.267 billion. Adverting revenues in this sector were pegged back by the same percentage to $1.033 billion while affiliate fees fell 6% annually to $1.139 billion.

Viacom noted that domestic advertising revenue growth rate improved for the second quarter, driven by accelerating growth in Advanced Marketing Solutions (AMS) where takings were up 76% in the quarter compared with 54% in Q1, benefiting from the integration of Pluto TV. US affiliate revenue declined due to SVOD library licensing, which was halted while finalising Pluto TV’s content strategy. Contractual rate increases were largely offset by subscriber declines.

“This quarter we executed strongly on our strategic priorities and made significant progress in advancing our evolution,” said Viacom CEO Bob Bakish commenting on the quarterly results. “We grew viewership share at our flagship networks, accelerated our Advanced Marketing Solutions and continued our momentum at Paramount Pictures. We also achieved important milestones in expanding our distribution across traditional, digital and mobile platforms, while dramatically improving our audience reach through the integration of Pluto TV. As the media landscape continues to segment across price points, we’re confident in our strategy, strong results and the opportunities ahead as we continue to position Viacom for the future.”