US radio, entertainment and outdoor advertising giant Clear Channel Communications reported a first-quarter net loss of $16.7 billion (€18.4bn; £11.4bn), far wider than the $309 million shortfall posted a year earlier. This reflects a $16.8bn one-off charge following a change in accounting rules governing intangible assets.

Excluding the massive write-down, Q1 profits at $90.3m beat expectations, up from an equivalent figure of $26m twelve months earlier (assuming the same accounting procedure for both periods).

First-quarter revenues were up 4% to $1.7bn, the largest chunk of which came from its radio division – up 2.4% to $783m. Its entertainment arm, which organises concerts and other live events, posted a 15.4% revenue rise to $480m, though the group’s outdoor unit saw sales tumble 11% to $374m.

Chairman/ceo Lowry Mays focused on the positive: “We firmly believe that this is a good beginning to what should be a very good year for Clear Channel.”

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