US radio and outdoor giant Clear Channel Worldwide saw fourth-quarter net losses widen to $365.6 million (€411.9m; £251.9m) from $192m the year before, and said it would take a pre-tax charge of $15–$25 billion relating to changes in accounting procedure.
Revenues for the quarter dropped 8% year-on-year to $1.86bn, hurt by falling turnover at Clear Channel's three major businesses (radio, outdoor and entertainment), while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) tumbled 46% to $345m.
For full-year 2001, Clear Channel posted a net loss of $1.14bn, down from $248.8m profit in 2000. Revenues jumped 49% to $7.97bn and EBITDA was up 11% to $1.92bn (though on a pro forma basis these declined 5% and 22% respectively).
The radio division – accounting for 65%–70% of total cash flow – saw revenues slip 6.9% in Q4 to $890.6m, but rise 42% over the year to $3.46bn.
Looking ahead, Clear Channel forecast a radio rebound in the first quarter, with cash flow up 1%–3%. However, an upturn in its entertainment and US outdoor business is not expected until Q2, while its international outdoor arm will have to wait until Q3.
Data sourced from: AdAge.com; Clear Channel Worldwide; additional content by WARC staff