First quarter results for New York-headquartered Viacom find the parent company of MTV, Vh1 and BET touting a 35% increase in net income, with an overall year-on-year revenue decline of 8%.
Net earnings from continuing operations attributable to Viacom grew to USD$535 million — primarily the result of a cut in taxes in addition to lower expenses, according to the company.
Meanwhile, overall revenues fell to $3.07 billion, spurred by declines in the company’s filmed entertainment and media networks divisions. For the latter, revenues year-on-year decreased 1% to $2.56 billion, with a 1% increase in ad revenue bumping up against a 4% decrease in affiliate revenues. Growth in Europe as well as the acquisition of Telefe boosted international ad revenues for the division by 17% in the quarter (22% when not factoring in foreign exchange). Domestic ad revenues, however, decreased by 5%.
Announcing the Q1 results, Viacom pointed to the launch of the Paramount Network, rebranded from Spike TV at the start of 2018, the double-digit revenue and profit gains for Viacom International Media networks, and year-on-year ratings increases for MTV and BET (14% primetime ratings growth for the former, and 16% for the latter) among the performance highlights.
The news follows significant announcements coming from the company, led by president and CEO Bob Bakish (pictured), over the course of the past week, including the acquisition of leading online video conference VidCon, and the closure of its VR/AR studio, Viacom Next —a move aimed at strengthening the bottom line. The company says it remains committed to the burgeoning tech medium, and will absorb the studio into its Global Emerging Opportunities group.