US media giant Viacom is set for a bumper 2003, according to chairman/ceo Sumner Redstone.

The media mogul believes an imminent ad recovery will help push the group’s earnings per share growth to 20% next year, bettering Viacom’s earlier 15% forecast.

“What we're seeing now in terms of advertising augurs well for 2003,” he declared. “I do believe this is just the beginning and the market has hit a bottom.”

Also fuelling growth will be the MTV Networks division, which currently generates most of the media mammoth’s non-US revenues. Viacom wants to raise the unit’s contribution through organic growth and acquisitions.

This is not the only area in which it wants to expand. Redstone revealed that the company is mulling another major purchase, and has been looking at US cable assets.

Size clearly matters to Redstone, who boasts that Viacom is now the largest media firm in the world by market value, having overtaken ailing rivals AOL Time Warner and Vivendi Universal.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff