Financial Roundup: Viacom Sags, WPP Soars

28 February 2005

USA: The Media

  • Viacom (2004, calendar Q4)
        Last year's final quarter saw the US media titan hit with a massive $18 billion (€13.64bn; £9.40bn) goodwill write-down on its radio and outdoor advertising units, reflecting the adverse business conditions within both sectors.
       Viacom reported a net loss of $18.44bn ($10.99 a share) compared with a net loss of $385.4 million ($0.22 cents) a year earlier. Revenue during the quarter rose 6% to $6.29 billion.

    Global: Agencies
  • WPP Group (2004 full year)
       The globe's second largest agency holding company reported better than expected results with pretax profits of £546 million ($1.04bn; €702.4m), up year-on-year by fifteen per cent. The haruspices had predicted £532m.
       Revenues soared to £4.3bn while operating margins rose to 14.1% which, WPP predicts, will rise to 14.8% by 2006.
       The company boasts that it will outperform the market in 2005.

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