News Column

Movies, Cable Send Viacom Earnings Soaring

April 28, 2011

Viacom Inc., which owns entertainment icons MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Pictures, posted a 53 percent rise in first-quarter profits Thursday, boosted by hit movies such as "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," and increased cable TV ad revenue.

The world's fourth-largest entertainment conglomerate said it earned a profit of $376 million, up from $245 million a year ago, as revenue jumped 20 percent to $3.27 billion.

The company's film business saw revenue pop 38 percent to $1.23 billion, while its cable networks and TV divisions saw revenue rise 11 percent to $2.08 billion thanks to an improved advertising climate and increased audiences for shows such as "Jersey Shore."

International ad sales grew 19 percent, with the strongest performance coming in Europe and Latin America, with the company planning more expansions in emerging markets and especially India.

"We are looking to launch some additional channels in India, including a film channel," said Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom, which already owns a 50 percent stake in a joint venture that operates several channels in India, including MTV India, and a Hindi-language channel dubbed Colors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Source: Copyright 2011 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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