Viacom Announces Second-Quarter Results

By Christian
August 3, 2000 - 3:29 PM

Viacom Inc., the global media company that owns 'Voyager' home network UPN and Trek production company Paramount Pictures, today announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2000.

The company posted a net loss of $469 million, compared with a profit of $59 million in the second quarter last year. The loss was mainly caused by special charges related to Viacom's merger with CBS, without which it would have had a profit of $9 million, beating analyst expectations. Revenues strongly increased from $3 billion to $4.9 billion, mostly due to the CBS acquisition, but even without that the company would have seen a strong revenue growth.

Commenting on the results, Viacom chairman and CEO Summer Redstone said the "Viacom/CBS merger is off to an extraordinary start. [...] Our first quarter as a combined entity vividly demonstrates the power of our union and the overwhelming success of the strategy behind it. Our core businesses are performing at record levels both financially and creatively, with highlights that include the summer's top grossing film, 'Mission: Impossible 2,' and the unprecedented television ratings phenomenon, 'Survivor.'"

The revenue increase was driven by strong performance of several of Paramount's blockbuster movies, including the aforementioned 'MI:2' and last year's 'The Sixth Sense', which has become one of the biggest-rented titles in history, while Viacom's cable and other television assets also performed well. One of these television assets is UPN, soon to be relaunched as the Paramount Network, which according to Viacom performed remarkably well the past season:

For the 1999-2000 season, UPN showed significant ratings increases in every category: up 44% in total viewers, 70% in adults 18-34, and 167% in male teens. Excluding the effect of WWF Smackdown!, the network still posted increased ratings: Excluding Smackdown!, UPN was up 15% in total viewers and 20% in adults 18-34. WWF Smackdown! was the No. 1 new fall series among total teens and male teens, No. 2 among males 12-34, and No. 3 among men 18-34.

More info on Viacom's financial results can be found in the company's own press release, containing a summary of the performance of the various Viacom companies and a full financial statement, and in this Reuters report, providing a more readable summary.

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