CBS Posts Mixed Q2 Figures

05 August 2008

NEW YORK: CBS has posted a 1% rise in income for the second quarter of this year, a result largely attributable to the sale of its share in The Sundance Channel, as profits slipped across TV, radio and outdoor. 

The company's net income for Q2 reached $408.4 million (€262m; £207m) from $404m in 2007, boosted by the sale of its stake in The Sundance Channel, which brought in $127.2m. 

When this and other financial imperatives such as restructuring costs and stock-based compensation are excluded, net income fell 15% from 2007 levels to $355.3m.

TV operations reported 12% lower income in Q2 – and a 6% dip in ad revenue – despite the fact that total television revenue was 2% higher, mainly thanks to syndication sales for shows such as CSI.

Operating profit from radio fell 16% (with revenue down 10%), and the company also announced plans to sell 50 radio stations to fund share buybacks.

Its outdoor unit, which has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, saw profits fall 20% as a result of increased billboard and transit costs, and contract losses in cities including Toronto and San Francisco.

Ceo Leslie Moonves said overall operations – and particularly advertising sales – had been "challenged by the economic conditions affecting many industries, particularly local businesses".

Overall revenues reached $3.39 billion from $3.37bn in the year-ago period, and CBS lowered its previous forecasts of 3%-5% growth to an estimate of "flat".

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff