Clear Channel Boosted By Radio Ad Upturn

31 October 2002

A leap in radio advertising has helped push media and entertainment giant Clear Channel Communications back into the black for the third quarter.

Clear Channel, the world’s largest radio owner, posted net profits of $212.5 million (€216.4m; £136.5m), up from a loss of $232.2m in Q3 last year. Total revenues edged up 2% to $2.34bn.

The group’s radio division was the bright spot, reporting an 11% rise in revenues to $964m on the back of increased advertising income. Sales were up in most ad categories, including auto, retail and consumer products, while Clear Channel also benefited from raised political spend.

“Advertising is up,” rejoiced chief operating officer Mark Mays, “and it's up, I believe, because the economy is doing better than everybody anticipated.”

However, things were not so rosy at the group’s other divisions. The outdoor advertising unit saw improvement in America but continued to suffer in Europe, while the entertainment division saw revenues tumble 18%.

Overall EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased 11% in the quarter to $616m. For Q4, EBITDA is forecast at $550m, a 55% jump on the same quarter last year.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff